The effect of extreme weather on mortality in Cyprus: high temperatures vs. synoptic air mass types

Zoi Konsoula, Haritini Tsangari, Anastasia Paschalidou, Pavlos Kassomenos, Stephanie Christou, Kyriakos, E. Georgiou, Theodoulos Mesimeris, Sotiris Vardoulakis, Clare, H. Heaviside, Edna, N. Yamasaki

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Background: The world is experiencing climate change which is likely to lead to increased mortality associated with extreme weather.
Aims: The current study (CYPHEW) is the first to examine the effect of extreme weather on mortality in the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. The objective was to investigate the impact on mortality of individual meteorological variables (e.g. temperature), and synoptic weather classifications (air mass types) that define categories of meteorologically homogeneous days.
Methods: Daily data were analyzed for the warm period (April-September) of 2004-2009. A Generalized Linear Model (GLM) was used. First, temperature was entered in GLM with a newly developed Distributed Lag Non-linear Model, which captures non-linearities and lag effects simultaneously. The GLM was also adjusted for relative humidity, long- and short-term seasonality. Second, considering variables like air and dew point temperature, barometric pressure, precipitation, sunshine and visibility, Principal Component Analysis and Cluster Analysis were used to identify the air mass types and their effect was examined. Results: High temperatures had a significant effect on mortality in Cyprus. The V-shaped temperature-mortality relation had a hot temperature threshold at 33.7oC, above which mortality risk increased steeply. Moreover, a direct health effect of heat was shown, with high risk on the current and next two days of a severe heat event. Seven air mass types were identified, but none had a significant effect on mortality.
Conclusions
: The CYPHEW study indicated that high temperatures can result in increased mortality rates in Cyprus, independent of humidity and seasonality. Other meteorological variables in air mass types were not associated with excess mortality risk. The results could be used to inform a Heat-Health- Warning System. The Project CYPHEW is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus through the Research Promotion Foundation
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe effect of extreme weather on mortality in Cyprus: high temperatures vs. synoptic air mass types
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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    Konsoula, Z., Tsangari, H., Paschalidou, A., Kassomenos, P., Christou, S., Georgiou, K. E., Mesimeris, T., Vardoulakis, S., Heaviside, C. H., & Yamasaki, E. N. (2013). The effect of extreme weather on mortality in Cyprus: high temperatures vs. synoptic air mass types. In The effect of extreme weather on mortality in Cyprus: high temperatures vs. synoptic air mass types [3961] https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/isee/o-2-33-05/