Ambient Temperature During Gestation and Cold-Related Adult Mortality in a Swedish Cohort, 1915 to 2002

34 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2014

See all articles by Tim Bruckner

Tim Bruckner

University of California, Irvine

Gerard J. van den Berg

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Tinbergen Institute

Kirk R. Smith

University of California, Berkeley - School of Public Health

Ralph A. Catalano

University of California, Berkeley

Abstract

For all climatic regions, mortality due to cold exceeds mortality due to heat. We examine whether cold-related mortality in adulthood varies positively with unusually benign ambient temperature during gestation, using data on over 13,500 Swedes from the Uppsala Birth Cohort Study born in 1915-1929 and followed until 2003. We link daily thermometer temperatures in Uppsala (1914 to 2002) to subjects, from their estimated date of conception onwards. We estimate survival models with time-varying explanatory variables, focusing on the two leading causes of cold-related death in adulthood: ischaemic heart disease (IHD) and stroke.An increase in the prevalence of warm temperatures during gestation leads to a significantly higher rate of mortality due to cold-related IHD. However, we do not find such a relation for cold-related stroke mortality. Additional analyses show that birthweight percentile or gestational age do not mediate discovered findings. The IHD results indicate that ambient temperature during gestation – independent of birth month – modifies the relation between cold and adult mortality.

Keywords: ischaemic heart disease, fetal development, cold spells, cerebrovascular disorders, climate, health, temperature regulation, migration

JEL Classification: I12, Q54

Suggested Citation

Bruckner, Tim and van den Berg, Gerard J. and Smith, Kirk R. and Catalano, Ralph A., Ambient Temperature During Gestation and Cold-Related Adult Mortality in a Swedish Cohort, 1915 to 2002. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7986. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2403123

Tim Bruckner (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine ( email )

Gerard J. Van den Berg

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Economics ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Netherlands
+31 20 444 6132 (Phone)
+32 20 444 6020 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Tinbergen Institute

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

Kirk R. Smith

University of California, Berkeley - School of Public Health ( email )

50 University Hall #7360
Berkeley, CA 94720-7360
United States

Ralph A. Catalano

University of California, Berkeley ( email )

310 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

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