The association between wind-related variables and stroke symptom onset: A case-crossover study on Jeju Island

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BackgroundAlthough several studies have investigated the effects of ambient temperature on the risk of stroke, few studies have examined the relationship between other meteorological conditions and stroke. Therefore, the aim of this study was to analyze the association between wind-related variables and stroke symptoms onset.MethodsData regarding the onset of stroke symptoms occurring between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2007 on Jeju Island were collected from the Jeju National University Hospital stroke registry. A fixed-strata case-crossover analysis based on time of onset and adjusted for ambient temperature, relative humidity, air pressure, and pollutants was used to analyze the effects of wind speed, the daily wind speed range (DWR), and the wind chill index on stroke symptom onset using varied lag terms. Models examining the modification effects by age, sex, smoking status, season, and type of stroke were also analyzed.ResultsA total of 409 stroke events (381 ischemic and 28 hemorrhagic) were registered between 2006 and 2007. The odds ratios (ORs) for wind speed, DWR, and wind chill among the total sample at lag 0–8 were 1.18 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.06–1.31), 1.08 (95% CI: 1.02–1.14), and 1.22 (95% CI: 1.07–1.39) respectively. The ORs for wind speed, DWR, and wind chill for ischemic stroke patients were slightly greater than for patients in the total sample (OR=1.20, 95% CI: 1.08–1.34; OR=1.09, 95% CI: 1.03–1.15; and OR=1.22, 95% CI: 1.07–1.39, respectively). Statistically significant season-specific effects were found for spring and winter, and various delayed effects were observed. In addition, age, sex, and smoking status modified the effect size of wind speed, DWR, and wind chill.ConclusionsOur analyses showed that the risk of stroke symptoms onset was associated with wind speed, DWR, and wind chill on Jeju Island.HighlightsThe association between the risk of stroke symptom onset and wind was investigated.Wind speed, the diurnal wind speed range, and wind chill had adverse health effects.The effect size was larger among ischemic stroke patients than in the total sample.Modifications by season, sex, age, and smoking status were detected.Wind may be a risk factor for stroke in relatively warm temperature regions.

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