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Impact of Temperature on Physical and Mental Health: Evidence from China

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  • 1 a School of Economics and Management, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing, China
  • | 2 b Institute of Low Carbon Operations Strategy for Beijing Enterprises, Beijing, China
  • | 3 c Department of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, College of the Environment and Life Sciences, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island
  • | 4 d Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Medical College, Wuhan University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China
  • | 5 e Hubei Province Key Laboratory of Occupational Hazard Identification and Control, Wuhan University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China
  • | 6 f School of Management and Economics, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, China
  • | 7 g Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, China
  • | 8 h Sustainable Development Research Institute for Economy and Society of Beijing, Beijing, China
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Abstract

Climate may significantly affect human society. Few studies have focused on the temperature impact on residents’ health, especially mental health status. This paper uses 98 423 observations in China to study the relationship between temperature and health, based on the China Family Panel Studies survey during 2010–16. We analyze the health effects of extreme hot and cold weather and compare the effects under different social demographic factors including gender, age, and income. We find that temperature and health status exhibit a nonlinear relationship. Women and low-income households are more likely to be impacted by extreme cold, whereas men, the elderly, and high-income households are more sensitive to extreme heat. Our results highlight the potential effects of extreme temperatures on physical and mental health and provide implications for future policy decisions to protect human health under a changing climate.

© 2021 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Xiao-Chen Yuan, yuanxc@bit.edu.cn, xc.yuan@outlook.com

Abstract

Climate may significantly affect human society. Few studies have focused on the temperature impact on residents’ health, especially mental health status. This paper uses 98 423 observations in China to study the relationship between temperature and health, based on the China Family Panel Studies survey during 2010–16. We analyze the health effects of extreme hot and cold weather and compare the effects under different social demographic factors including gender, age, and income. We find that temperature and health status exhibit a nonlinear relationship. Women and low-income households are more likely to be impacted by extreme cold, whereas men, the elderly, and high-income households are more sensitive to extreme heat. Our results highlight the potential effects of extreme temperatures on physical and mental health and provide implications for future policy decisions to protect human health under a changing climate.

© 2021 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Xiao-Chen Yuan, yuanxc@bit.edu.cn, xc.yuan@outlook.com
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