Background The seasonal trend of out-of-hospital coronary death (OHCD) and sudden cardiac death has been observed, but whether extreme temperature serves as a risk factor is rarely investigated. We therefore aimed to evaluate the impact of extreme temperatures on OHCDs in China. We obtained death records of 126 925 OHCDs from six large Chinese cities (Harbin, Beijing, Tianjin, Nanjing, Shanghai and Guangzhou) during the period 2009–2011.
Methods The short-term associations between extreme temperature and OHCDs were analysed with time-series methods in each city, using generalised additive Poisson regression models. We specified distributed lag non-linear models in studying the delayed effects of extreme temperature. We then applied Bayesian hierarchical models to combine the city-specific effect estimates.
Results The associations between extreme temperature and OHCDs were almost U-shaped or J-shaped. The pooled relative risks (RRs) of extreme cold temperatures over the lags 0–14 days comparing the 1st and 25th centile temperatures were 1.49 (95% posterior interval (PI) 1.26–1.76); the pooled RRs of extreme hot temperatures comparing the 99th and 75th centile temperatures were 1.53 (95% PI 1.27–1.84) for OHCDs. The RRs of extreme temperature on OHCD were higher if the patients with coronary heart disease were old, male and less educated.
Conclusions This multicity epidemiological study suggested that both extreme cold and hot temperatures posed significant risks on OHCDs, and might have important public health implications for the prevention of OHCD or sudden cardiac death.
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