Association between ambient temperature and childhood respiratory hospital visits in Beijing, China: a time-series study (2013-2017).

Research paper by Jiakun J Fang, Jing J Song, Rongshan R Wu, Yunfei Y Xie, Xin X Xu, Yueping Y Zeng, Yutong Y Zhu, Tong T Wang, Ningman N Yuan, Hongbing H Xu, Xiaoming X Song, Qinghong Q Zhang, Baoping B Xu, Wei W Huang

Indexed on: 10 Feb '21Published on: 09 Feb '21Published in: Environmental Science and Pollution Research


Little is known on the potential impact of temperature on respiratory morbidity, especially for children whose respiratory system can be more vulnerable to climate changes. In this time-series study, Poisson generalized additive models combined with distributed lag nonlinear models were used to assess the associations between ambient temperature and childhood respiratory morbidity. The impacts of extreme cold and hot temperatures were calculated as cumulative relative risks (cum.RRs) at the 1st and 99th temperature percentiles relative to the minimum morbidity temperature percentile. Attributable fractions of respiratory morbidity due to cold or heat were calculated for temperatures below or above the minimum morbidity temperature. Effect modifications by air pollution, age, and sex were assessed in stratified analyses. A total of 877,793 respiratory hospital visits of children under 14 years old between 2013 and 2017 were collected from Beijing Children's Hospital. Overall, we observed J-shaped associations with greater respiratory morbidity risks for exposure to lower temperatures, and higher fraction of all-cause respiratory hospital visits was caused by cold (33.1%) than by heat (0.9%). Relative to the minimum morbidity temperature (25 °C, except for rhinitis, which is 31 °C), the cum.RRs for extreme cold temperature (-6 °C) were 2.64 (95%CI: 1.51-4.61) for all-cause respiratory hospital visits, 2.73 (95%CI: 1.44-5.18) for upper respiratory infection, 2.76 (95%CI: 1.56-4.89) for bronchitis, 2.12 (95%CI: 1.30-3.47) for pneumonia, 2.06 (95%CI: 1.27-3.34) for rhinitis, and 4.02 (95%CI: 2.14-7.55) for asthma, whereas the associations between extreme hot temperature (29 °C) and respiratory hospital visits were not significant. The impacts of extreme cold temperature on asthma hospital visits were greater at higher levels of ozone (O) exposure (> 50th percentile). Our findings suggest significantly increased childhood respiratory morbidity risks at extreme cold temperature, and the impact of extreme cold temperature on asthma hospital visits can be enhanced under higher level exposure to O.