Short Term Effects of Temperature on Risk of Myocardial Infarction

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Date Submitted: 09/10/2011 10:06 PM

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Short term effects of temperature on risk of myocardial infarction in England and Wales: time series regression analysis of the Myocardial Ischemia National Audit Project (MINAP) registry


Objective To examine the short term relation between ambient temperature and risk of myocardial infarction.

Design Daily time series regression analysis.

Setting 15 conurbations in England and Wales.

Participants 84 010 hospital admissions for myocardial infarction recorded in the Myocardial Ischemia National Audit Project during 2003-6 (median 57 events a day).

Main outcome measures Change in risk of myocardial infarction associated with a 1°C difference in temperature, including effects delayed by up to 28 days.

Results Smoothed graphs revealed a broadly linear relation between temperature and myocardial infarction, which was well characterised by log-linear models without a temperature threshold: each 1°C reduction in daily mean temperature was associated with a 2.0% (95% confidence interval 1.1% to 2.9%) cumulative increase in risk of myocardial infarction over the current and following 28 days, the strongest effects being estimated at intermediate lags of 2-7 and 8-14 days: increase per 1°C reduction 0.6% (95% confidence interval 0.2% to 1.1%) and 0.7% (0.3% to 1.1%), respectively. Heat had no detrimental effect. Adults aged 75-84 and those with previous coronary heart disease seemed more vulnerable to the effects of cold than other age groups (P for interaction 0.001 or less in each case), whereas those taking aspirin were less vulnerable (P for interaction 0.007).

Conclusions Increases in risk of myocardial infarction at colder ambient temperatures may be one driver of cold related increases in overall mortality, but an increased risk of myocardial infarction at higher temperatures was not detected. The risk of myocardial infarction in vulnerable people might be reduced by the provision of targeted advice or other interventions, triggered by forecasts of...