The impact of temperature and precipitation on all-infectious-, bacterial-, and viral-diarrheal disease in Taiwan

Gerry Andhikaputra, Amir Sapkota, Yu-Kai Lin, Ta-Chien Chan, Chuansi Gao, Li-Wen Deng, Yu-Chun Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The ongoing climate change will elevate the incidence of diarrheal in 2030-2050 in Asia, including Taiwan. This study investigated associations between meteorological factors (temperature, precipitation) and burden of age-cause-specific diarrheal diseases in six regions of Taiwan using 13 years of (2004-2016) population-based data.

METHODS: Weekly cause-specific diarrheal and meteorological data were obtained from 2004 to 2016. We used distributed lag non-linear model to assess age (under five, all age) and cause-specific (viral, bacterial) diarrheal disease burden associated with extreme high (99th percentile) and low (5th percentile) of climate variables up to lag 8 weeks in six regions of Taiwan. Random-effects meta-analysis was used to pool these region-specific estimates.

RESULTS: Extreme low temperature (15.30 °C) was associated with risks of all-infectious and viral diarrhea, with the highest risk for all-infectious diarrheal found at lag 8 weeks among all age [Relative Risk (RR): 1.44; 95 % Confidence Interval (95 % CI): 1.24-1.67]. The highest risk of viral diarrheal infection was observed at lag 2 weeks regardless the age. Extreme high temperature (30.18 °C) was associated with risk of bacterial diarrheal among all age (RR: 1.07; 95 % CI: 1.02-1.13) at lag 8 weeks. Likewise, extreme high precipitation (290 mm) was associated with all infectious diarrheal, with the highest risk observed for bacterial diarrheal among population under five years (RR: 2.77; 95 % CI: 1.60-4.79) at lag 8 weeks. Extreme low precipitation (0 mm) was associated with viral diarrheal in all age at lag 1 week (RR: 1.08; 95 % CI: 1.01-1.15)].

CONCLUSION: In Taiwan, extreme low temperature is associated with an increased burden of viral diarrheal, while extreme high temperature and precipitation elevated burden of bacterial diarrheal. This distinction in cause-specific and climate-hazard specific diarrheal disease burden underscore the importance of incorporating differences in public health preparedness measures designed to enhance community resilience against climate change.

Original languageEnglish
Article number160850
Number of pages8
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Early online date2022 Dec 13
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Mar 1

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology

Free keywords

  • Extreme weather
  • Climate change
  • Health
  • Infectious diarrhea


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