Population and Environment

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 1–26 | Cite as

Heat and adult health in China

  • Valerie Mueller
  • Clark Gray
Original Paper


Given projected increases in the frequency of precipitation and temperature extremes in China, we examine the extent adults may be vulnerable to climate anomalies. We link nutrition, health, and economic data from the China Health and Nutrition Survey (1989–2011) to gridded climate data to identify which socioeconomic outcomes are particularly susceptible, including adult underweight incidence, body mass index, dietary intake, physical activity, illness, income, and food prices. We find warm temperatures augment the probability of being underweight among adults, with a particularly large impact for the elderly (ages > 60). Extremely dry and warm conditions produce a 3.3-percentage point increase in underweight status for this group. Consequences on nutrition coincide with changes in illness rather than dietary, income, or purchasing power shifts. Social protection targeting areas prone to excessive heat may consider supplementing bundles of goods with a suite of health care provisions catering to the elderly.


Climate Temperature Health Adults China 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Politics and Global StudiesArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  2. 2.Development Strategy and Governance DivisionInternational Food Policy Research InstituteWashingtonUSA
  3. 3.Department of GeographyUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA

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