Effect of heatwaves and greenness on mortality among Chinese older adults.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Heatwaves and greenness have been shown to affect health, but the evidence on their joint effects is limited. We aim to assess the associations of the combined exposure to greenness and heatwaves. We utilized five waves (February 2000-October 2014) of the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS), a prospective cohort of older adults aged 65. We defined heatwaves as the daily maximum temperature ≥92.5th percentile with duration ≥3 days. We calculated the number of heatwave days in one year before death to and cumulative Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) during follow-up to assess individual long-term exposure to heatwaves and greenness. Cox proportional hazards models were used to assess the effects of greenness, heatwaves, and their interaction on mortality, adjusted for covariates. We conducted subgroup analyses by residence, gender, and age. There were 20,758 participants in our study, totaling 67,312 person-years of follow-up. The mean NDVI was 0·41 (SD 0.13), and the mean number of heatwave days was 8.92 (2.04). In the adjusted model, the mortality hazard ratio (HR) for each 3-day increase in heatwave days was 1.04 (95% CI 1.04, 1.05), each 0.1-unit decrease in cumulative NDVI was 1.06 (1.05, 1.07). In the adjusted model with an interaction term, the HR for the interaction term was 1.01 (1.01, 1.02) with a p-value less than 0.001. In our subgroup analyses, the HR for each 3-day increase in heatwave days was higher in urban areas than in rural areas (1.06 vs. 1.03), and the HR for 0.1-unit decrease in NDVI was higher in urban areas than in rural areas (1.08 vs. 1.04). Greenness can protect against the effect of heatwaves on mortality, and heatwaves affect the health effects of greenness. Urban dwellers have a higher response to the detrimental effect of heatwaves and a higher marginal benefit from greenness exposure.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Zhang, H; Liu, L; Zeng, Y; Liu, M; Bi, J; Ji, JS

Published Date

  • December 1, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 290 /

Start / End Page

  • 118009 -

PubMed ID

  • 34523521

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-6424

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.envpol.2021.118009


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England