International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 57, Issue 4, pp 535–544 | Cite as

Changes in the association between summer temperature and mortality in Seoul, South Korea

  • Jongsik Ha
  • Ho KimEmail author
Original Paper


The health impact of climate change depends on various conditions at any given time and place, as well as on the person. Temporal variations in the relationship between high temperature and mortality need to be explored in depth to explain how changes in the level of exposure and public health interventions modify the temperature–mortality relationship. We examined changes in the relationship between human mortality and temperature in Seoul, which has the highest population in South Korea, considering the change in population structure from 1993–2009. Poisson regression models were used to estimate short-term temperature-related mortality impacts. Temperature-related risks were divided into two “time periods” of approximately equal length (1993 and 1995–2000, and 2001–2009), and were also examined according to early summer and late summer. Temperature-related mortality in summer over the past 17 years has declined. These decreasing patterns were stronger for cardiovascular disease-related mortality than for all non-accidental deaths. The novel finding is that declines in temperature-related mortality were particularly noteworthy in late summer. Our results indicate that temperature-related mortality is decreasing in Seoul, particularly during late summer and, to a lesser extent, during early summer. This information would be useful for detailed public health preparedness for hot weather.


High temperature Mortality South Korea Weather 



This study was supported by projects “Development of Climate-Change Health Impact Assessment and Adaptation Technologies (No. 2011-046 and 2012-034)” in Korea Environment Institute, funded by Eco-Innovation, Ministry of the Environment (No. 412-111-001) and “The Study of Factors Influencing in Estimation for Future Disease Burden: Focused on High Temperature from Climate Change (No. BA2012-10)” funded by Korea Environment Institute and was also supported by the Global Research Lab (#K21004000001-10A0500-00710) through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. The funding agencies had no role in the analysis of data or preparation of the manuscript.

Supplementary material

484_2012_580_MOESM1_ESM.docx (19 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 18 kb)


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Copyright information

© ISB 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Korea Environment InstituteSoeulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, School of Public Health and the Institute of Health and EnvironmentSeoul National UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

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