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Deaths in Oslo, Norway
Reference
Nafstad, P., Skrondal, A. and Bjertness, E.  2001.  Mortality and temperature in Oslo, Norway.  1990-1995.  European Journal of Epidemiology 17: 621-627.

What was done
The authors studied the association between temperature and daily mortality for citizens of Oslo, Norway over the period 1990 to 1995.  Because Norwegian law requires that all deaths be examined by a physician, who diagnoses the cause of death and reports it on the death certificate, the authors were able to categorize and examine the effects of temperature on mortality from (1) respiratory diseases, (2) cardiovascular diseases and (3) all diseases (excluding deaths caused by accidents, poisoning, suicide, or other non-normal causes).

What was learned
The average daily number of deaths in all three categories was higher in winter (October-March) than in summer (April-September).  For respiratory diseases, winter deaths were 47% more numerous than summer deaths; while for cardiovascular diseases and the all-disease category, winter deaths were 15% more numerous than summer deaths.

What it means
According to the authors, the results of their study indicate that "a milder climate would lead to a substantial reduction in average daily number of deaths."  Clearly, therefore, global warming would be welcomed in Norway as a means of improving the longevity of its citizens.


Reviewed 4 September 2002