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Comparison of UTCI with other thermal indices in the assessment of heat and cold effects on cardiovascular mortality in the Czech Republic.

Urban A, Kyselý J - Int J Environ Res Public Health (2014)

Bottom Line: We found similar heat effects on CVD mortality for air temperature and the examined thermal indices.Responses of CVD mortality to cold effects as characterised by different indices were much more varied.UTCI tends to select windy rather than freezing days in winter, though these show little effect on mortality in the urban population.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Atmospheric Physics AS CR, Boční II 1401, 141 31 Prague 4, Czech Republic. urban@ufa.cas.cz.

ABSTRACT
We compare the recently developed Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI) with other thermal indices in analysing heat- and cold-related effects on cardiovascular (CVD) mortality in two different (urban and rural) regions in the Czech Republic during the 16-year period from 1994-2009. Excess mortality is represented by the number of deaths above expected daily values, the latter being adjusted for long-term changes, annual and weekly cycles, and epidemics of influenza/acute respiratory infections. Air temperature, UTCI, Apparent Temperature (AT) and Physiologically Equivalent Temperature (PET) are applied to identify days with heat and cold stress. We found similar heat effects on CVD mortality for air temperature and the examined thermal indices. Responses of CVD mortality to cold effects as characterised by different indices were much more varied. Particularly important is the finding that air temperature provides a weak cold effect in comparison with the thermal indices in both regions, so its application--still widespread in epidemiological studies--may underestimate the magnitude of cold-related mortality. These findings are important when possible climate change effects on heat- and cold-related mortality are estimated. AT and PET appear to be more universal predictors of heat- and cold- related mortality than UTCI when both urban and rural environments are of concern. UTCI tends to select windy rather than freezing days in winter, though these show little effect on mortality in the urban population. By contrast, significant cold-related mortality in the rural region if UTCI is used shows potential for UTCI to become a useful tool in cold exposure assessments.

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Linear regression between mean daily UTCI, PET, AT, and T in the urban (Prague) region in winter over 1994–2009. Coefficients of determination are shown in Table 3.
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ijerph-11-00952-f004: Linear regression between mean daily UTCI, PET, AT, and T in the urban (Prague) region in winter over 1994–2009. Coefficients of determination are shown in Table 3.

Mentions: UTCI correlates weakly with the other indices and air temperature in winter (Table 3, Figure 4), while PET and AT are much more strongly linked to air temperature. Moreover, little consensus in the selection of cold days between UTCI and the other indices was found in the two regions. In Prague, only 31% of cold days were common for air temperature and UTCI, and the R2 for all winter daily values of T and UTCI was just 0.23.


Comparison of UTCI with other thermal indices in the assessment of heat and cold effects on cardiovascular mortality in the Czech Republic.

Urban A, Kyselý J - Int J Environ Res Public Health (2014)

Linear regression between mean daily UTCI, PET, AT, and T in the urban (Prague) region in winter over 1994–2009. Coefficients of determination are shown in Table 3.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3924484&req=5

ijerph-11-00952-f004: Linear regression between mean daily UTCI, PET, AT, and T in the urban (Prague) region in winter over 1994–2009. Coefficients of determination are shown in Table 3.
Mentions: UTCI correlates weakly with the other indices and air temperature in winter (Table 3, Figure 4), while PET and AT are much more strongly linked to air temperature. Moreover, little consensus in the selection of cold days between UTCI and the other indices was found in the two regions. In Prague, only 31% of cold days were common for air temperature and UTCI, and the R2 for all winter daily values of T and UTCI was just 0.23.

Bottom Line: We found similar heat effects on CVD mortality for air temperature and the examined thermal indices.Responses of CVD mortality to cold effects as characterised by different indices were much more varied.UTCI tends to select windy rather than freezing days in winter, though these show little effect on mortality in the urban population.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Atmospheric Physics AS CR, Boční II 1401, 141 31 Prague 4, Czech Republic. urban@ufa.cas.cz.

ABSTRACT
We compare the recently developed Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI) with other thermal indices in analysing heat- and cold-related effects on cardiovascular (CVD) mortality in two different (urban and rural) regions in the Czech Republic during the 16-year period from 1994-2009. Excess mortality is represented by the number of deaths above expected daily values, the latter being adjusted for long-term changes, annual and weekly cycles, and epidemics of influenza/acute respiratory infections. Air temperature, UTCI, Apparent Temperature (AT) and Physiologically Equivalent Temperature (PET) are applied to identify days with heat and cold stress. We found similar heat effects on CVD mortality for air temperature and the examined thermal indices. Responses of CVD mortality to cold effects as characterised by different indices were much more varied. Particularly important is the finding that air temperature provides a weak cold effect in comparison with the thermal indices in both regions, so its application--still widespread in epidemiological studies--may underestimate the magnitude of cold-related mortality. These findings are important when possible climate change effects on heat- and cold-related mortality are estimated. AT and PET appear to be more universal predictors of heat- and cold- related mortality than UTCI when both urban and rural environments are of concern. UTCI tends to select windy rather than freezing days in winter, though these show little effect on mortality in the urban population. By contrast, significant cold-related mortality in the rural region if UTCI is used shows potential for UTCI to become a useful tool in cold exposure assessments.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus