Low ambient temperature and hospitalization for cardiorespiratory diseases in Brazil

Weeberb J. Requia, Ana Maria Vicedo-Cabrera, Evan de Schrijver, Heresh Amini

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5 Scopus citations


Studies have shown that larger temperature-related health impacts may be associated with cold rather than with hot temperatures. Although it remains unclear the cold-related health burden in warmer regions, in particular at the national level in Brazil. We address this gap by examining the association between low ambient temperature and daily hospital admissions for cardiovascular and respiratory diseases in Brazil between 2008 and 2018. We first applied a case time series design in combination with distributed lag non-linear modeling (DLNM) framework to assess the association of low ambient temperature with daily hospital admissions by Brazilian region. Here, we also stratified the analyses by sex, age group (15–45, 46–65, and >65 years), and cause (respiratory and cardiovascular hospital admissions). In the second stage, we performed a meta-analysis to estimate pooled effects across the Brazilian regions. Our sample included more than 23 million hospitalizations for cardiovascular and respiratory diseases nationwide between 2008 and 2018, of which 53% were admissions for respiratory diseases and 47% for cardiovascular diseases. Our findings suggest that low temperatures are associated with a relative risk of 1.17 (95% CI: 1.07; 1.27) and 1.07 (95% CI: 1.01; 1.14) for cardiovascular and respiratory admissions in Brazil, respectively. The pooled national results indicate robust positive associations for cardiovascular and respiratory hospital admissions in most of the subgroup analyses. In particular, for cardiovascular hospital admissions, men and older adults (>65 years old) were slightly more impacted by cold exposure. For respiratory admissions, the results did not indicate differences among the population groups by sex and age. This study can help decision-makers to create adaptive measures to protect public health from the effects of cold temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116231
JournalEnvironmental Research
StatePublished - 15 Aug 2023


  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Case time series
  • Cold
  • Hospitalization
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Temperature


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