International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 63, Issue 1, pp 29–50 | Cite as

Extreme temperature and mortality: evidence from China

  • Zhiming Yang
  • Qing WangEmail author
  • Pengfei Liu
Original Paper


The frequency, intensity, and duration of extreme temperature events are expected to rise in the future and increase the related health risks of human beings. Using a novel, nationwide dataset that links extreme temperature and mortality, we estimated the short-term and long-term effects of extreme temperature on mortality in China during 2002–2013. Both extreme hot and extreme cold had immediate and long-term effects on all-cause mortality. Annual deaths per 100,000 people due to extreme hot and cold in the long term were considerably larger compared to the short term. The change in cold spell duration indicator exhibited the greatest effects on annual deaths per 100,000 people among a set of extreme weather indicators. Furthermore, cities with low economic development levels were more vulnerable to extreme temperature, compared to cities with high economic development levels. Our results offer important policy implications for developing a regional-specific extreme weather plan to handle extreme temperature events in China.


Extreme temperature Mortality China Climate change Infinite distributed lag model 



Gross domestic product


World Meteorological Organization


Principal component analysis




Infinite distributed lag






Generalized moment method




United States


National Health and Family Planning Commission


Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change



This paper was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 71503059; 71673022; 71704010; 71704009); China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (No. 2018m630284); Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. FRF-TP-16-050A1; FRF-BR-17-005B; DUT17RC(4)24); Beijing Social Science Foundation (No. 17LJB004).

Compliance with ethical standards

Consent for publication

All of the authors have read and approved the paper and it has not been published previously nor is it being considered by any other peer-reviewed journal.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© ISB 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Donlinks School of Economics and ManagementUniversity of Science and Technology BeijingBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of BusinessDalian University of TechnologyPanjinChina
  3. 3.School of Public HealthShandong UniversityJinanChina
  4. 4.Department of Aquaculture and FisheriesUniversity of Arkansas at Pine BluffPine BluffUSA

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