International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 58, Issue 9, pp 2011–2024 | Cite as

Impact of diurnal temperature range on human health: a systematic review

  • Jian Cheng
  • Zhiwei Xu
  • Rui Zhu
  • Xu Wang
  • Liu Jin
  • Jian Song
  • Hong SuEmail author


Increasing epidemiological studies have shown that a rapid temperature change within 1 day is an independent risk factor for human health. This paper aimed to systematically review the epidemiological evidence on the relationship between diurnal temperature range (DTR) and human health and to propose future research directions. A literature search was conducted in October 2013 using the databases including PubMed, ScienceDirect, and EBSCO. Empirical studies regarding the relationship between DTR and mortality and morbidity were included. Twenty-five relevant studies were identified, among which, 11 investigated the relationship between DTR and mortality and 14 examined the impact of DTR on morbidity. The majority of existing studies reported that DTR was significantly associated with mortality and morbidity, particularly for cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Notably, compared with adults, the elderly and children were more vulnerable to DTR effects. However, there were some inconsistencies regarding the susceptible groups, lag time, and threshold of DTR. The impact of DTR on human health may be confounded or modified by season, socioeconomic, and educational status. Further research is needed to further confirm the adverse effects of DTR in different geographical locations; examine the effects of DTR on the health of children aged one or under; explore extreme DTR effects on human health; analyze the difference of DTR effects on human health in different locations and the modified effects of potential confounding factors; and develop detailed preventive measures against large DTR, particularly for susceptible groups.


Climate change DTR Morbidity Mortality 


Conflict of interest

The authors report no conflict of interest.

Financial support

No source of financial funding.


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Copyright information

© ISB 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jian Cheng
    • 1
  • Zhiwei Xu
    • 2
  • Rui Zhu
    • 3
  • Xu Wang
    • 1
  • Liu Jin
    • 1
  • Jian Song
    • 1
  • Hong Su
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public HealthAnhui Medical UniversityHefeiChina
  2. 2.School of Public Health and Social Work & Institute of Health and Biomedical InnovationQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Child and Maternal Health Care, School of Public HealthAnhui Medical UniversityHefeiChina

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