Global, regional, and national burden of mortality associated with short-term temperature variability from 2000-19: a three-stage modelling study


Background Increased mortality risk is associated with short-term temperature variability. However, to our knowledge, there has been no comprehensive assessment of the temperature variability-related mortality burden worldwide. In this study, using data from the MCC Collaborative Research Network, we first explored the association between temperature variability and mortality across 43 countries or regions. Then, to provide a more comprehensive picture of the global burden of mortality associated with temperature variability, global gridded temperature data with a resolution of 0·5° × 0·5° were used to assess the temperature variability-related mortality burden at the global, regional, and national levels. Furthermore, temporal trends in temperature variability-related mortality burden were also explored from 2000–19. Methods In this modelling study, we applied a three-stage meta-analytical approach to assess the global temperature variability-related mortality burden at a spatial resolution of 0·5° × 0·5° from 2000–19. Temperature variability was calculated as the SD of the average of the same and previous days’ minimum and maximum temperatures. We first obtained location-specific temperature variability related-mortality associations based on a daily time series of 750 locations from the Multi-country Multi-city Collaborative Research Network. We subsequently constructed a multivariable meta-regression model with five predictors to estimate grid-specific temperature variability related-mortality associations across the globe. Finally, percentage excess in mortality and excess mortality rate were calculated to quantify the temperature variability-related mortality burden and to further explore its temporal trend over two decades. Findings An increasing trend in temperature variability was identified at the global level from 2000 to 2019. Globally, 1 753 392 deaths (95% CI 1 159 901–2 357 718) were associated with temperature variability per year, accounting for 3·4% (2·2–4·6) of all deaths. Most of Asia, Australia, and New Zealand were observed to have a higher percentage excess in mortality than the global mean. Globally, the percentage excess in mortality increased by about 4·6% (3·7–5·3) per decade. The largest increase occurred in Australia and New Zealand (7·3%, 95% CI 4·3–10·4), followed by Europe (4·4%, 2·2–5·6) and Africa (3·3, 1·9–4·6). Interpretation Globally, a substantial mortality burden was associated with temperature variability, showing geographical heterogeneity and a slightly increasing temporal trend. Our findings could assist in raising public awareness and improving the understanding of the health impacts of temperature variability.

The Lancet Planetary Health 6(5):410-431