Increases in external cause mortality due to high and low temperatures: evidence from northeastern Europe

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The relationship between temperature and mortality is well established but has seldom been investigated in terms of external causes. In some Eastern European countries, external cause mortality is substantial. Deaths owing to external causes are the third largest cause of mortality in Estonia, after cardiovascular disease and cancer. Death rates owing to external causes may reflect behavioural changes among a population. The aim for the current study was to investigate if there is any association between temperature and external cause mortality, in Estonia. We collected daily information on deaths from external causes (ICD-10 diagnosis codes V00–Y99) and maximum temperatures over the period 1997–2013. The relationship between daily maximum temperature and mortality was investigated using Poisson regression, combined with a distributed lag non-linear model considering lag times of up to 10 days. We found significantly higher mortality owing to external causes on hot (the same and previous day) and cold days (with a lag of 1–3 days). The cumulative relative risks for heat (an increase in temperature from the 75th to 99th percentile) were 1.24 (95% confidence interval, 1.14–1.34) and for cold (a decrease from the 25th to 1st percentile) 1.19 (1.03–1.38). Deaths due to external causes might reflect changes in behaviour among a population during periods of extreme hot and cold temperatures and should therefore be investigated further, because such deaths have a severe impact on public health, especially in Eastern Europe where external mortality rates are high.


Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • University of Tartu
  • Umeå University

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Folkhälsovetenskap, global hälsa, socialmedicin och epidemiologi


Sidor (från-till)963-966
TidskriftInternational Journal of Biometeorology
Tidigt onlinedatum2016 nov 17
StatusPublished - 2017
Peer review utfördJa