Current and Projected Burden of Disease From High Ambient Temperature in Korea

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Background:The objective of the present study was to estimate the current and projected burden of disease from high ambient temperature using population-based data sources of nationwide mortality and morbidity in Korea.Methods:Disability-adjusted life years (DALY) were estimated using noninjury-related deaths, and cerebrovascular and cardiovascular diseases from recently released nationwide health and mortality databases. Years of life lost and years lost due to disability were measured based on the point prevalence and number of deaths during the study period. Future DALY attributable to heat waves were estimated from projected populations, and temperature predictions for the years 2030 and 2050 were under Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) 4.5 and 8.5 with summertime temperatures above threshold.Results:Relative risks (RR) of total mortality and of cardiovascular disease were 1.02 (95% CI, 1.01, 1.02) and 1.08 (95% CI, 1.06, 1.09) for each 1°C increase in temperature above threshold, respectively. The morbidity of heat-related disease was RR 1.67 (95% CI, 1.64, 1.68) for each 1°C increase in temperature above threshold. DALY for all-cause death were 0.49 DALY/1000 in 2011, 0.71 (0.71) DALY/1000 in 2030 and 0.77 (1.72) DALY/1000 in 2050 based on RCP 4.5 (RCP 8.5). DALY for cardio- and cerebrovascular diseases were 1.24 DALY/1000 in 2011, 1.63 (1.82) DALY/1000 in 2030, and 1.76 (3.66) DALY/1000 in 2050 based on RCP 4.5 (RCP 8.5).Conclusions:Future excess mortality due to high ambient temperature is expected to be profound in Korea. Efforts to mitigate climate change can provide substantial health benefits via reducing heat-related mortality.

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