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Article

Comparison of Respiratory and Ischemic Heart Mortalities and their Relationship to the Thermal Environment

1
Research Centre Human Biometeorology, Deutscher Wetterdienst, Stefan-Meier-Str. 4, 79104 Freiburg, Germany
2
German Environment Agency, Department Environmental Hygiene, Corrensplatz 1, Berlin 14195, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2020, 11(8), 826; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11080826
Received: 15 June 2020 / Revised: 30 July 2020 / Accepted: 2 August 2020 / Published: 5 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Applied Human Biometeorology)
Chronic respiratory and ischemic heart diseases are globally important parts of total mortality. This study focuses on the occurrence of mortality due to these disease groups in Germany and possible effects of the thermal environment. A retrospective analysis on the mortality rates of chronic lower respiratory diseases (CLRD) and ischemic heart diseases (IHD) at the regional level in Germany for the period 2001–2015 was done in combination with meteorological observations from the network of the German Meteorological Service. In order to control the mortality data for long-term and seasonal trends, a 365-day Gaussian low-pass filter with a filter response function was applied. The thermal environment was analysed using 2 m air temperature (Ta) and the human biometeorological index Perceived Temperature (PT). The relationship of the Relative Risk (RR) of mortality to the thermal environment is displayed as an exposure–response curve, with threshold values at which RR increases significantly towards higher and lower temperature values. CLRD mortality increases above 17.6 °C, at approximately 4.4%/°C (CI: ± 0.3). The increase of IHD mortality above the threshold of 18.8 °C is less steep, at 3.5%/°C (CI: ± 0.2). During hot periods, CLRD mortality increases by 19.9%, which is twice as much as IHD mortality, with an increase of 9.8%. However, cold days and cold periods affect IHD slightly more than CLRD. The results highlight the concerns of CLRD patients during hot days as well as heat waves. This could lead to better precautions being taken for respiratory patients, which are already established for cardiac patients in Germany. View Full-Text
Keywords: excess mortality; respiratory diseases; COPD; ischemic heart diseases; heat stress; heat waves; heat-related mortality; cold impact; Germany excess mortality; respiratory diseases; COPD; ischemic heart diseases; heat stress; heat waves; heat-related mortality; cold impact; Germany
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MDPI and ACS Style

Schlegel, I.; Muthers, S.; Mücke, H.-G.; Matzarakis, A. Comparison of Respiratory and Ischemic Heart Mortalities and their Relationship to the Thermal Environment. Atmosphere 2020, 11, 826. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11080826

AMA Style

Schlegel I, Muthers S, Mücke H-G, Matzarakis A. Comparison of Respiratory and Ischemic Heart Mortalities and their Relationship to the Thermal Environment. Atmosphere. 2020; 11(8):826. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11080826

Chicago/Turabian Style

Schlegel, Irmela, Stefan Muthers, Hans-Guido Mücke, and Andreas Matzarakis. 2020. "Comparison of Respiratory and Ischemic Heart Mortalities and their Relationship to the Thermal Environment" Atmosphere 11, no. 8: 826. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11080826

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