'Pneumonia weather': Short-term Effects of Meteorological Factors on Emergency Room Visits Due to Pneumonia in Seoul, Korea

Sangho Sohn, Wonju Cho, Jin A. Kim, Alaa Altaluoni, Kwan Hong, Byung Chul Chun

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    Objectives: Many studies have explored the relationship between short-term weather and its health effects (including pneumonia) based on mortality, although both morbidity and mortality pose a substantial burden. In this study, the authors aimed to describe the influence of meteorological factors on the number of emergency room (ER) visits due to pneumonia in Seoul, Korea. Methods: Daily records of ER visits for pneumonia over a 6-year period (2009-2014) were collected from the National Emergency Department Information System. Corresponding meteorological data were obtained from the National Climate Data Service System. A generalized additive model was used to analyze the effects. The percent change in the relative risk of certain meteorological variables, including pneumonia temperature (defined as the change in average temperature from one day to the next), were estimated for specific age groups. Results: A total of 217 776 ER visits for pneumonia were identified. The additional risk associated with a 1°C increase in pneumonia temperature above the threshold of 6°C was 1.89 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.37 to 2.61). Average temperature and diurnal temperature range, representing within-day temperature variance, showed protective effects of 0.07 (95% CI, 0.92 to 0.93) and 0.04 (95% CI, 0.94 to 0.98), respectively. However, in the elderly (65+ years), the effect of pneumonia temperature was inconclusive, and the directionality of the effects of average temperature and diurnal temperature range differed. Conclusions: The term 'pneumonia temperature' is valid. Pneumonia temperature was associated with an increased risk of ER visits for pneumonia, while warm average temperatures and large diurnal temperature ranges showed protective effects.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)82-91
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2019 Mar


    • Emergency service
    • Generalized additive model
    • Pneumonia
    • Public health
    • Weather

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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