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

  • Bruckner, Tim A.


    (University of California, Irvine)

  • van den Berg, Gerard J.


    (University of Mannheim)

  • Smith, Kirk R.


    (University of California, Berkeley)

  • Catalano, Ralph A.


    (University of California, Berkeley)

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.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7986.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7986
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  1. Gerard J. van den Berg & Gabriele Doblhammer-Reiter & Kaare Christensen, 2008. "Exogenous determinants of early-life conditions, and mortality later in life," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2008-016, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  2. Martin Dribe & Bart Van De Putte, 2012. "Marriage seasonality and the industrious revolution: southern Sweden, 1690–1895," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 65(3), pages 1123-1146, 08.
  3. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Deeg, Dorly J. H. & Lindeboom, Maarten & Portrait, France, 2010. "The Role of Early-Life Conditions in the Cognitive Decline due to Adverse Events Later in Life," IZA Discussion Papers 4780, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Sharon Maccini & Dean Yang, 2009. "Under the Weather: Health, Schooling, and Economic Consequences of Early-Life Rainfall," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 1006-26, June.
  5. Ralph Catalano & Tim Bruckner & Kirk Smith & Katherine Saxton, 2012. "Temperature oscillations may shorten male lifespan via natural selection in utero," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 110(3), pages 697-707, February.
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