Influence of ambient temperature and diurnal temperature range on incidence of cardiac arrhythmias

Abstract

We investigated the association between ambient temperature and diurnal temperature range (DTR) and the exacerbation of arrhythmia symptoms, using data from 31,629 arrhythmia-related emergency department (ED) visits in Seoul, Korea. Linear regression analyses with allowances for over-dispersion were applied to temperature variables and ED visits, adjusted for various environmental factors. The effects were expressed as percentage changes in the risk of arrhythmia-related ED visits up to 5 days later, with 95 % confidence intervals (CI), per 1 °C increase in DTR and 1 °C decrease in mean temperature. The overall risk of ED visits increased by 1.06 % (95 % CI 0.39 %, 1.73 %) for temperature and by 1.84 % (0.34, 3.37 %) for DTR. A season-specific effect was detected for temperature during both fall (1.18 % [0.01, 2.37 %]) and winter (0.87 % [0.07, 1.67 %]), and for DTR during spring (3.76 % [0.34, 7.29 %]). Females were more vulnerable, with 1.57 % [0.56, 2.59 %] and 3.84 % [1.53, 6.20 %] for the changes in temperature and DTR, respectively. An age-specific effect was detected for DTR, with 3.13 % [0.95, 5.36 %] for age ≥ 65 years, while a greater increased risk with temperature decrease was observed among those aged <65 (1.08 % [0.17, 2.00 %]) than among those aged ≥65 (1.02 % [0.06, 1.99 %]). Cardiac arrest was inversely related with temperature (1.61 % [0.46, 2.79 %]), while other cardiac arrhythmias depended more on the change in DTR (4.72 % [0.37, 9.26 %]). These findings provide evidence that low-temperature and elevated DTR influence the occurrence of arrhythmia exacerbations or symptoms, suggesting a possible strategy for reducing risk by encouraging vulnerable populations to minimize exposure.

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Acknowledgments

The authors thank the National Emergency Medical Center, the Korean Meteorological Administration, and the National Institute of Environmental Research for the use of their data. This work was supported by Global Research Lab (#K21004000001-10 A0500-00710) through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT (Information and Communication Technologies), by the Korea Ministry of Environment (project number: 2014001310010), and by the Ministry of Public Safety and Security of Korea (MPSS-NH-2015-81).

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Correspondence to Ho Kim.

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Kim, J., Kim, H. Influence of ambient temperature and diurnal temperature range on incidence of cardiac arrhythmias. Int J Biometeorol 61, 407–416 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00484-016-1221-0

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Keywords

  • Arrhythmia
  • Diurnal temperature range
  • Emergency department
  • Risk factor
  • Temperature