News from ISGlobal
Temperature-related mortality has been decreasing in Spain over the past four decades, according to a new study led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal). The study analysed the Spanish population’s vulnerability to hot and cold temperatures in the context of global warming.
The study, published in The Lancet Planetary Health, analysed temperatures and deaths related to cardiovascular diseases recorded in 48 Spanish provinces between 1980 and 2016. Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in Spain and there is clear evidence of an association between temperature and cardiovascular mortality.
The findings show that temperature-related cardiovascular disease mortality was 38.2% lower in the period between 2002 and 2016 than for the period between 1980 and 1994. Analysis of the data in 15-year periods revealed that temperature-related cardiovascular mortality decreased at a rate of more than 17% per decade.
Notable differences were observed between the sexes: heat-related mortality was much higher in women, while men were more vulnerable to cold temperatures.
"We observed two parallel phenomena", explained Hicham Achebak, a researcher at ISGlobal and the Centre for Demographic Studies (CED) and lead author of the study. "First, over the past four decades the mean temperature has risen by nearly 1°C. The trend is towards fewer days of moderate or extreme cold temperatures and more days of high temperatures. Second, the Spanish population has adapted to both cold and warm temperatures. The number of deaths at a given temperature is lower now than it was four decades ago."
Hicham Achebak, David Davolder, Joan Ballester. Trends in temperature-related age-specific and sex-specific mortality from cardiovascular diseases in Spain: a national time-series analysis. The Lancet Planetary Health. June 2019. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2542-5196(19)30090-7