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Mortality Related to Cold Temperatures in Two Capitals of the Baltics: Tallinn and Riga
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Section of Sustainable Health.
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2019 (English)In: Medicina (Kaunas), ISSN 1010-660X, E-ISSN 1648-9144, Vol. 55, no 8, article id 429Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background and objectives: Despite global warming, the climate in Northern Europe is generally cold, and the large number of deaths due to non-optimal temperatures is likely due to cold temperatures. The aim of the current study is to investigate the association between cold temperatures and all-cause mortality, as well as cause-specific mortality, in Tallinn and Riga in North-Eastern Europe.

Materials and Methods: We used daily information on deaths from state death registries and minimum temperatures from November to March over the period 1997-2015 in Tallinn and 2009-2015 in Riga. The relationship between the daily minimum temperature and mortality was investigated using the Poisson regression, combined with a distributed lag non-linear model considering lag times of up to 21 days.

Results: We found significantly higher all-cause mortality owing to cold temperatures both in Tallinn (Relative Risk (RR) = 1.28, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 1.01-1.62) and in Riga (RR = 1.41, 95% CI 1.11-1.79). In addition, significantly increased mortality due to cold temperatures was observed in the 75+ age group (RR = 1.64, 95% CI 1.17-2.31) and in cardiovascular mortality (RR = 1.83, 95% CI 1.31-2.55) in Tallinn and in the under 75 age group in Riga (RR = 1.58, 95% CI 1.12-2.22). In this study, we found no statistically significant relationship between mortality due to respiratory or external causes and cold days. The cold-related attributable fraction (AF) was 7.4% (95% CI -3.7-17.5) in Tallinn and 8.3% (95% CI -0.5-16.3) in Riga. This indicates that a relatively large proportion of deaths in cold periods can be related to cold in North-Eastern Europe, where winters are relatively harsh.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI, 2019. Vol. 55, no 8, article id 429
Keywords [en]
Baltics, all-cause mortality and cause-specific mortality, cold-related attributable fraction, distributed lag non-linear models, temperature-related mortality, winter mortality
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-162421DOI: 10.3390/medicina55080429PubMedID: 31382432OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-162421DiVA, id: diva2:1344100
Available from: 2019-08-20 Created: 2019-08-20 Last updated: 2019-08-22Bibliographically approved

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