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Open Access Research article

The impact of ambient temperature on mortality among the urban population in Skopje, Macedonia during the period 1996–2000

Vladimir T Kendrovski

Author Affiliations

Department for Hygiene and Environmental Health, Medical Faculty, University "St. Cyril and Methodius", 50 Divizija 6, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia

BMC Public Health 2006, 6:44  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-6-44

Published: 23 February 2006

Abstract

Background

This study assesses the relationship between daily numbers of deaths and variations in ambient temperature within the city of Skopje, R. Macedonia.

Methods

The daily number of deaths from all causes, during the period 1996–2000, as well as those deaths from cardiovascular diseases, occurring within the city of Skopje were related to the average daily temperature on the same day using Multiple Regression statistical analyses. Temperature was measured within the regression model as two complementary variables: 'Warm' and 'Cold'. Excess winter mortality was calculated as winter deaths (deaths occurring in December to March) minus the average of non-winter deaths (April to July of the current year and August to November of the previous year).

Results

In this study the average daily total of deaths was 7% and 13% greater in the cold when compared to the whole period and warm period respectively. The same relationship was noticed for deaths caused by cardiovascular diseases. The Regression Beta Coefficient (b = -0.19) for the total mortality as a function of the temperature in Skopje during the period 1996–2000 was statistically significant with negative connotation as was the circulatory mortality due to average temperature (statistically significant regression Beta coefficient (b = -0.24)). A measure of this increase is provided, on an annual basis, in the form of the excess winter mortality figure.

Conclusion

Mortality with in the city of Skopje displayed a marked seasonality, with peaks in the winter and relative troughs in the summer.