Special Issue "Impacts of Hot and Cold Spells for Non-communicable Diseases"

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Biometeorology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 27 November 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Vidmantas Vaičiulis
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environmental and Occupational Medicine, Faculty of Public health, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, LT 44307 Kaunas, Lithuania
Interests: climate; cardiovascular diseases; cold spells; hot spell
Prof. Dr. Jonė Venclovienė
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Natural Sciences, Department of Environmental Sciences, Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania
Interests: biostatistics; the associations between space weather and human health; the effects of weather and air pollution on human health; environment; epidemiology
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Ričardas Radišauskas
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environmental and Occupational Medicine, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, LT-47181 Kaunas, Lithuania
Interests: cardiovascular disease epidemiology; non-communicable disease epidemiology; cancer epidemiology; ischemic heart disease and stroke registries; population and cohort-based studies; metabolic diseases epidemiology; cardiovascular disease risk factors; lifestyle and environmental risk factors; primary and secondary prevention; cardiovascular diseases and meteorological factors; environmental pollution and health; alcohol and drug abuse; children's environment and health; psychosocial factors of the work environment; nutrition and health
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The environment has a major impact on human beings. Extreme environmental conditions such as hot or cold temperatures can have huge health impacts. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as respiratory and cardiovascular diseases are very sensitive to environmental conditions. Natural and anthropogenic disasters can cause the collapse of health infrastructure through a combination of a marked increase in demand due to injuries, diseases, and increased stress levels and transport disasters that follows such disasters. Extreme weather events and disasters are predicted to increase in the course of the ongoing climate change. Therefore, impacts on NCDs are very likely to increase, which raises the importance of the hitherto paucity of knowledge about this research area.

The aim of this Special Issue is to showcase the new results of associations between weather and various aspects of human health in direct and indirect ways. The main topics of this Issue are:

(1) the impact of cold spells on humans,

(2) the impact of hot spells on humans,

(3) the complex effect of hot or cold spells and other environmental phenomena (e.g., atmospheric pressure, seasonality, air pollution, and teleconnection patterns) on the risk of adverse health events or fluctuations in the physiological variables in humans in different climate zones, and

(4) the prognosis of hot and cold spells for the future.      

Dr. Vidmantas Vaičiulis
Prof. Dr. Jonė Venclovienė
Prof. Dr. Ričardas Radišauskas
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Atmosphere is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • meteorology
  • climate
  • non-communicable diseases
  • cold spells
  • hot spells

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Climate Change, Obesity, and COVID-19—Global Crises with Catastrophic Consequences. Is This the Future?
Atmosphere 2021, 12(10), 1292; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/atmos12101292 - 03 Oct 2021
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Climate change and obesity were considered threats to our planet long before the onset of COVID-19. The recent pandemic has enhanced the global burden of both pre-existing crises. The aim of this narrative review is to explore the interaction between the three concurrent [...] Read more.
Climate change and obesity were considered threats to our planet long before the onset of COVID-19. The recent pandemic has enhanced the global burden of both pre-existing crises. The aim of this narrative review is to explore the interaction between the three concurrent crises and the future of our planet should they not be dealt with accordingly. A PubMed and Google Scholar literature search was performed using different combinations of search strategies and using the keywords “obesity”, “climate/temperature change”, “cold/hot temperatures”, and “COVID-19”. High global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions link obesity and climate change as a result of the interplay between biological and behavioural factors. COVID-19 mitigation measures have indirectly impacted obesity and GHG emissions through the shift in dietary habits, restricted mobility, the impact on healthcare services, and enhanced psychological stress. Furthermore, COVID-19 has a more detrimental effect if acquired by an obese individual, with a higher chance of hospitalization and mechanical ventilation. This leads to higher GHG emissions and negative repercussions on the climate. A tri-directional relationship exists between obesity, climate change, and COVID-19. Various factors contribute to this relationship, but unless urgent global integrated action plans are implemented that target all three calamities, and not just COVID-19, a devastating and unsustainable future may ensue. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Hot and Cold Spells for Non-communicable Diseases)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Tentative Title: The impact of heat waves and cold spells on cardiovascular disease hospital admission in Baotou, China
Author: Minhui Li
Abstract: The objectives of this paper are (i) to find the association between extreme temperatures and cardiovascular diseases hospitalization and (ii) to explore the added effects of heat waves and cold spells on cardiovascular diseases hospitalization in Baotou from 2015 to 2019. This paper will collect the hospitalization data of cardiovascular disease in the largest comprehensive hospital of Baotou City (The First Affiliated Hospital of Baotou City) from 2015 to 2019. The corresponding meteorological data including air temperature, air humidity, air pressure, wind speed, and pollutant data including PM2.5, PM10, SO2, CO, NO2 and O3 were obtained from Baotou Meteorological Bureau. The “mgcv”, “dlnm” packages of R were used and distributed lag non-linear model was performed to quantify this association.This study will provide the basis and data for the comprehensive study of similar climate regions.

Tentative Title: Climate change and heatwave-related elderly mortality in Brazil
Authors: Fernanda Rodrigues Diniz and Fábio Luiz Teixeira Gonçalves
Abstract: There is no longer any doubt that climate change is occurring because of the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, mainly resulting from anthropogenic emissions. Climate change can affect health in different ways, and one of them is the increase in frequency and intensity of heat waves. In recent years, Brazil has shown an increase in the number of days with heat waves in its different states, mainly affecting the health of the elderly population in the country. Elderly people are more vulnerable to heat due to dysfunctional thermoregulatory mechanisms, dehydration and diseases that involve systems that regulate body temperature, such as respiratory (RD) and cardiovascular (CVD) diseases, which can lead to death. We analyzed the impact of heatwave-related elderly mortality from CVD and RD in the twenty-six capitals of the Brazilian states and the Federal District using Distributed Lag Non-Linear Models (DLNM).  We also calculated the heatwave-related excess mortality in the present (1996-2016) and we projected for the near future (2030-2050) and distant future (2079-2099), considering two climate change scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5) with two adaptation assumptions (no adaptation and hypothetical adaptation). The projections were performed using data from Eta-HADGEM2-ES models obtained by the PROJETA platform of National Institute for Space Research in Brazil. The results show that if there is no adaptation, the heatwave-related excess mortality of elderly people in Brazil is expected to increase, especially in 2079-2099 in the RCP8.5 scenario (on average 974 annual deaths per 100,000 inhabitants from CVD and 20 annual deaths per 100,000 inhabitants from RD). The heatwave-related mortality from CVD is expected to increase much more in the North and Southeast regions of the country and from RD in the Midwest and Southeast regions. If we consider hypothetical adaptation, the heatwave-related excess mortality is still expected to increase, but the increase is much smaller than under the hypothesis of no adaptation (on average 1.1 annual deaths per 100,000 inhabitants from CVD and 1.5 annual deaths per 100,000 inhabitants from RD). These results can be used in decision-making by public policies so that preventive and adaptive measures are implemented to avoid an increase in mortality in the coming years.

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