Association between Indoor Temperature in Winter and Serum Cholesterol: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of the Smart Wellness Housing Survey in Japan

J Atheroscler Thromb. 2022 Dec 1;29(12):1791-1807. doi: 10.5551/jat.63494. Epub 2022 May 13.


Aim: Issuance of the WHO Housing and health guidelines has paralleled growing interest in the housing environment. Despite accumulating evidence of an association between outdoor temperature and serum cholesterol, indoor temperature has not been well investigated. This study examined the association between indoor temperature and serum cholesterol.

Methods: We collected valid health checkup data of 2004 participants (1333 households), measured the indoor temperature for 2 weeks in winter, and divided participants according to whether they lived in a warm (average bedroom temperature ≥ 18℃), slightly cold (12-18℃) or cold house (<12˚C). The relationship between bedroom temperature and serum cholesterol was analyzed using multivariate logistic regression models, adjusting for demographics, lifestyle habits and the season in which the health checkup was conducted, with a random effect of climate areas in Japan.

Results: The sample sizes for warm, slightly cold, and cold houses were 206, 940, and 858, respectively. Compared to those in warm houses, the odds ratio of total cholesterol exceeding 220 mg/dL was 1.83 (95%CI: 1.23-2.71, p=0.003) for participants in slightly cold houses and 1.87 (95%CI: 1.25-2.80, p=0.002) in cold houses. Similarly, the odds ratio of LDL/non-HDL cholesterol exceeding the standard range was 1.49 (p=0.056)/1.67 (p=0.035) for those in slightly cold houses and 1.64 (p=0.020)/1.77 (p=0.021) in cold houses. HDL cholesterol and triglycerides were not significantly associated with bedroom temperature.

Conclusion: Besides lifestyle modification, improving indoor thermal environment through strategies such as installing high thermal insulation and appropriate use of heating devices may contribute to better serum cholesterol condition.

Keywords: Housing; Indoor temperature; LDL cholesterol; Non-HDL cholesterol; Total cholesterol.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Housing*
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Seasons
  • Temperature