A systematic review and meta-analysis of ambient temperature and diarrhoeal diseases

Elizabeth J. Carlton, Andrew P. Woster, Peter DeWitt, Rebecca S. Goldstein, Karen Levy

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículo de revisiónrevisión exhaustiva

90 Citas (Scopus)


Background: Global climate change is expected to increase the risk of diarrhoeal diseases, a leading cause of childhood mortality. However, there is considerable uncertainty about the magnitude of these effects and which populations bear the greatest risks. Methods: We conducted a systematic review using defined search terms across four major databases and, additionally, examined the references of 54 review articles captured by the search. We evaluated sources of heterogeneity by pathogen taxon, exposure measure, study quality, country income level and regional climate, and estimated pooled effect estimates for the subgroups identified in the heterogeneity analysis, using meta-analysis methods. Results: We identified 26 studies with 49 estimates. Pathogen taxa were a source of heterogeneity. There was a positive association between ambient temperature and all-cause diarrhoea (incidence rate ratio (IRR) 1.07; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.03, 1.10) and bacterial diarrhoea (IRR 1.07; 95% CI 1.04, 1.10), but not viral diarrhoea (IRR 0.96; 95% CI 0.82, 1.11). These associations were observed in low-, middle- and high-income countries. Only one study of protozoan diarrhoea was identified. Conclusions: Changes in temperature due to global climate change can and may already be affecting diarrhoeal disease incidence. The vulnerability of populations may depend, in part, on local pathogen distribution. However, evidence of publication bias and the uneven geographical distribution of studies limit the precision and generalizability of the pooled estimates.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)117-130
Número de páginas14
PublicaciónInternational Journal of Epidemiology
EstadoPublicada - 1 feb. 2016
Publicado de forma externa


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