The disappearance of summer mortality peaks: A closer examination of temperature-mortality relationship in Taiwan
World temperature has increased in recent history and this trend is
likely to continue in the near future. Accompanying this change, there
has been an increase in extreme weather events, often leading to
devastating demographic, economic, environmental and social impacts.
Studies of impacts of extreme weather conditions, including the health
impact of very hot weathers or heatwaves, have also increased
considerably in recent years. Despite that investigations using detailed
data collected from less developed countries over a relatively
long-period are difficult to find. This study analyses mortality and
weather condition data gathered from Taiwan over recent decades. It
shows that in the 1970s, more extreme temperature was very closely
related to the increase in daily mortality, and marked mortality peaks
were frequently observed in winter and summer. While old people and
those with cardiovascular diseases tended to be more vulnerable to cold
weather, the risk of mortality among children and young people increased
notably and many of them died of injuries and poisoning in hot summer.
It is particular noteworthy that the temperature-mortality relationship
has not been constant, but gone through significant changes in recent
decades. One of the major changes has been the disappearance of major
summer mortality peaks.