Temperature frequency and mortality: Assessing adaptation to local temperature

Yao Wu, Bo Wen, Antonio Gasparrini, Ben Armstrong, Francesco Sera, Eric Lavigne, Shanshan Li*, Yuming Guo, Ala Overcenco, Aleš Urban, Alexandra Schneider, Alireza Entezari, Ana Maria Vicedo-Cabrera, Antonella Zanobetti, Antonis Analitis, Ariana Zeka, Aurelio Tobias, Baltazar Nunes, Barrak Alahmad, Bertil ForsbergCarmen Íñiguez, Caroline Ameling, César De la Cruz Valencia, Danny Houthuijs, Do Van Dung, Dominic Roye, Ene Indermitte, Fatemeh Mayvaneh, Fiorella Acquaotta, Francesca de'Donato, Gabriel Carrasco-Escobar, Haidong Kan, Hanne Krage Carlsen, Hans Orru, Ho Kim, Iulian Horia Holobaca, Jan Kyselý, Joana Madureira, Joel Schwartz, Jouni J.K. Jaakkola, Klea Katsouyanni, Magali Hurtado Diaz, Martina S. Ragettli, Masahiro Hashizume, Mathilde Pascal, Micheline de Sousa Zanotti Stagliorio Coelho, Nicolás Valdés Ortega, Niilo Ryti, Noah Scovronick, Paola Michelozzi, Patricia Matus Correa, Patrick Goodman, Paulo Hilario Nascimento Saldiva, Raanan Raz, Rosana Abrutzky, Samuel Osorio, Shih Chun Pan, Shilpa Rao, Shilu Tong, Souzana Achilleos, Tran Ngoc Dang, Valentina Colistro, Veronika Huber, Whanhee Lee, Xerxes Seposo, Yasushi Honda, Yoonhee Kim, Yue Leon Guo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Assessing the association between temperature frequency and mortality can provide insights into human adaptation to local ambient temperatures. We collected daily time-series data on mortality and temperature from 757 locations in 47 countries/regions during 1979–2020. We used a two-stage time series design to assess the association between temperature frequency and all-cause mortality. The results were pooled at the national, regional, and global levels. We observed a consistent decrease in the risk of mortality as the normalized frequency of temperature increases across the globe. The average increase in mortality risk comparing the 10th to 100th percentile of normalized frequency was 13.03% (95% CI: 12.17–13.91), with substantial regional differences (from 4.56% in Australia and New Zealand to 33.06% in South Europe). The highest increase in mortality was observed for high-income countries (13.58%, 95% CI: 12.56–14.61), followed by lower-middle-income countries (12.34%, 95% CI: 9.27–15.51). This study observed a declining risk of mortality associated with higher temperature frequency. Our findings suggest that populations can adapt to their local climate with frequent exposure, with the adapting ability varying geographically due to differences in climatic and socioeconomic characteristics.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number108691
JournalEnvironment international
StatePublished - May 2024

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© 2024


  • Adaptation
  • Climate change
  • Frequency
  • Mortality
  • Temperature


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