Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Heat-related hospitalisations for asthma – challenges for research
  1. Eva SL Pedersen1,
  2. Claudia E Kuehni1,2
  1. 1 Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  2. 2 Division of Paediatric Respiratory Medicine and Allergology, Department of Paediatrics, Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Eva SL Pedersen, Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Bern, Bern 3012, Switzerland; eva.pedersen{at}

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Warm temperatures are associated with healthcare encounters for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).1–8 Temperature affects the spread of infectious diseases and increases air pollution levels, pollen counts, and allergenicity—all elevate risks of asthma exacerbations—resulting in hospitalisations.9 Rising global temperatures possibly escalate effects on respiratory health worldwide. Yet, mapping synergetic effects of daily temperatures, air pollution, allergens, and virus spread is fundamental for understanding causal pathways and mechanisms. Such mapping helps identify vulnerable groups—an essential activity for planning structural and behavioural interventions for minimising climate change effects on respiratory health.

However, available literature on warmer summer temperature effects on respiratory morbidity remain deficient with many open questions. Some findings suggest higher risk of asthma hospitalisation with higher mean temperatures,6–8 others disagree4 5; studies differed regarding temperature metrics, confounder selections, mediators, effect modifiers, and outcome definitions.

A large innovative study from the United Kingdom

Konstantinoudis et al.—published in the present issue of Thorax10 —used sophisticated analyses on a large dataset to investigate effects of daily mean temperature on hospitalisation risks for asthma in the United Kingdom. They analysed national data from more than 260 000 people 5 years and older between 2002–2019; linked residential information with high-resolution daily temperature data and meteorology during summer months (June– August); and used International Classification of Diseases-10th revision (ICD-10) main diagnostic …

View Full Text


  • Contributors ESLP and CK drafted, reviewed, and revised the editorial.

  • Funding This work was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation, Switzerland (SNSF 320030_212519) and the Swiss Lung Association, Switzerland (2021-08_Pedersen).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

Linked Articles