Association between ambient temperature and injury by intentions and mechanisms: A case-crossover design with a distributed lag nonlinear model

Hyewon Lee, Woojae Myung, Ho Kim, Eun Mi Lee, Hyekyeong Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Although injury is a leading cause of death worldwide, the association between ambient temperature and injury has received little research attention compared to the association of temperature with mortality and morbidity from non-external causes. With current climate change and increases in weather extremes, assessing the association between temperature and injury is important for determining public health priorities. Therefore, the present study examined the association between ambient temperature and injury risk with a focus on the intentions and mechanisms of injury. Using the national emergency database, we identified a total of 703,503 injured patients who had visited emergency departments in Seoul, South Korea from 2008 to 2016. We conducted a time-stratified case-crossover study using a conditional Poisson regression model, and applied a distributed lag nonlinear model to explore possible nonlinear and delayed effects of daily mean temperature on injury risk. Injury risk was significantly associated with ambient temperature, and temperature-injury association curves markedly differed with respect to intentions and mechanisms of injury. Although unintentional injuries increased significantly at both high and low temperatures, intentional injuries – including self-harm and assault – significantly increased only at high temperatures. The mechanism-specific analyses showed that injuries caused by traffic accidents and burns significantly increased at both high and low temperatures. However, injuries caused by all other mechanisms (i.e., fall, blunt object, machinery, penetration, and poisoning) significantly increased only at high temperatures, while injury due to slipping increased at low temperatures. Our study provides evidence that ambient temperature is associated with risk of injury, and this association differs depending on the intentions and mechanisms of injury. Overall, our findings help foster a more comprehensive understanding of the association between temperature and injury that can be used to establish appropriate public health policies and targeted interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number141261
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume746
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2020

Keywords

  • Ambient temperature
  • High temperature
  • Injury
  • Intentions of injury
  • Low temperature
  • Mechanisms of injury

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