John L. Pearce, Madison Hyer, Rob J. Hyndman, Margaret Loughnan, Martine Dennekamp and Neville Nicholls

Environmental Health (2016), 15:107


Several studies have identified the association between ambient temperature and mortality; however, several features of temperature behavior and their impacts on health remain unresolved.

We obtain daily counts of nonaccidental all-cause mortality data in the elderly (65 + years) and corresponding meteorological data for Melbourne, Australia during 1999 to 2006. We then characterize the temporal behavior of ambient temperature development by quantifying the rates of temperature change during periods designated by pre-specified windows ranging from 1 to 30 days. Finally, we evaluate if the association between same day temperature and mortality in the framework of a Poisson regression and include our temperature trajectory variables in order to assess if associations were modified by the nature of how the given daily temperature had evolved.

We found a positive significant association between short-term mortality risk and daily average temperature as mortality risk increased 6 % on days when temperatures were above the 90th percentile as compared to days in the referent 25–75th. In addition, we found that mortality risk associated with daily temperature varied by the nature of the temperature trajectory over the preceding twelve days and that peaks in mortality occurred during periods of high temperatures and stable trajectories and during periods of increasing higher temperatures and increasing trajectories.

Our method presents a promising tool for improving understanding of complex temperature health associations. These findings suggest that the nature of sub-monthly temperature variability plays a role in the acute impacts of temperature on mortality; however, further studies are suggested.


Climate, Health, Heat events, Heat wave, Temperature-mortality, Weather


Online paper

  Tag: atmospheric science

2 posts
December 7th, 2016

Exploring the influence of short-term temperature patterns on temperature-related mortality: a case-study of Melbourne, Australia

John L. Pearce, Madison Hyer, Rob J. Hyndman, Margaret Loughnan, Martine Dennekamp and Neville Nicholls Environmental Health (2016), 15:107 Abstract: […]

June 10th, 2015

Do human rhinovirus infections and food allergy modify grass pollen–induced asthma hospital admissions in children?

Erbas et al.
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (2015)

June 25th, 2012

A case-crossover design to examine the role of aeroallergens and respiratory viruses on childhood asthma exacerbations requiring hospitalisation: The MAPCAH study

Erbas B, Dharmage SC, O’Sullivan M, Akram M, Newbigin E, Taylor P, Vicendese D, Hyndman RJ, Tang ML, Abramson MJ. […]

July 16th, 2011

Investigating the influence of synoptic-scale circulation on air quality using self-organizing maps and generalized additive modelling

John L Pearce, Jason Beringer, Neville Nicholls, Rob J Hyndman, Petteri Uotila, and Nigel J Tapper

Atmospheric Environment (2011), 45(1), 128-136.

The influence of synoptic-scale circulations on air quality is an area of increasing interest to air quality management in regards to future climate change. This study presents an analysis where the dominant synoptic ‘types’ over the region of Melbourne, Australia are determined and linked to regional air quality.

January 1st, 2011

Quantifying the influence of local meteorology on air quality using generalized additive modelling

John L Pearcea, Jason Beringera, Neville Nichollsa, Rob J Hyndmanb and Nigel J Tappera a School of Geography and Environmental […]

January 25th, 2008

Generation of synthetic sequences of half-hourly temperatures

Environmetrics (2008). 19(8), 818-835 Luciana Magnano1, John W. Boland1 and Rob J. Hyndman2 Centre for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, University […]

June 29th, 2007

Do levels of airborne grass pollen influence asthma hospital admissions?

Clinical and Experimental Allergy (2007), 37(11), 1641-1647. Bircan Erbas1, Jiun-Horng Chang1, Shyamali Dharmage1, Eng Kok Ong2, Rob J Hyndman3, Ed […]

December 16th, 2005

Sensitivity of the estimated air pollution-respiratory admissions relationship to statistical model

International Journal of Environmental Health Research (2005), 15(6), 437-448. Bircan Erbas1 and Rob J Hyndman2 Department of Public Health, The […]

August 16th, 2001

Data visualization for time series in environmental epidemiology

Journal of Epidemiology and Biostatistics (2001), 6(6), 433-443. Bircan Erbas1 and Rob J Hyndman2 Department of General Practice & Public […]

July 2nd, 2001

Statistical methodological issues in studies of air pollution and respiratory disease

Erbas, B. and Hyndman, R.J. (2001) 16th International Workshop on Statistical Modelling, Odense, Denmark. 2-6 July, 2001. Abstract: Epidemiological studies […]

August 9th, 2000

Seasonal adjustment methods for the analysis of respiratory disease in environmental epidemiology

Bircan Erbas1 and Rob J Hyndman2 Department of General Practice & Public Health, The University of Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia. […]

May 16th, 2000

Generalized additive modelling of mixed distribution Markov models with application to Melbourne’s rainfall

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Statistics (2000), 42(2), 145-158. Rob J Hyndman1 and Gary K Grunwald2 Department of Econometrics […]