Studies have demonstrated that exposure to extreme outdoor temperatures increases cardiovascular disease mortality and morbidity. However, people spend 80%–90% of their time indoors, and the cumulative effects of exposure to high or low temperature on the risk of cardiovascular diseases had not been considered. This study investigated the cumulative effects of high or low indoor temperature exposure on the risk of cardiovascular diseases. We estimated indoor temperatures by using a prediction model of indoor temperature from a previous study and further calculated the cumulative degree hours at different indoor temperature ranges. Samples of emergency department visits due to cardiovascular diseases were collected from the Longitudinal Health Insurance Database (LHID) from 2000 to 2014 in Taiwan. We used a distributed lag nonlinear model to analyze the data. Our data demonstrated a significant risk of emergency department visits due to cardiovascular diseases at 27, 28, 29, 30, and 31 °C when cooling cumulative degree hours exceeded 62, 43, 16, 1, and 1 during the hot season (May to October), respectively, and at 19, 20, 21, 22, and 23 °C when heating cumulative degree hours exceeded 1, 1, 1, 11, and 33 during the cold season (November to April), respectively. Cumulative degree hours were different according to gender and age groups. Policymakers should further consider the cumulative effects to prevent hot- or cold-related cardiovascular diseases for populations.
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