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CR 13:17-31 (1999)  -  doi:10.3354/cr013017

Winter ischaemic heart disease deaths in Birmingham, United Kingdom: a synoptic climatological analysis

Glenn R. McGregor*

The School of Geography and Environmental Sciences, The University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, United Kingdom

ABSTRACT: The relationship between winter ischaemic heart disease (IHD) deaths and weather is investigated using a synoptic climatological approach. First the main air mass types affecting the study area are identified and then an assessment of the extent of the statistical relationship between mortality and the identified air mass types is made. Within air mass type meteorology-mortality relationships are also explored. Study results show that increased mortality rates are associated with 2 air mass types with contrasting physical properties: a cold polar continental type associated with an anticyclonic system lying over the European continent to the north or east of the study area and a moderately warm blustery maritime type that occurs as an Atlantic ocean low pressure system approaches the study area. An analysis of air mass sequences also demonstrates that IHD mortality is related to air mass change. Results are discussed in terms of methodologies for climate mortality studies.

KEY WORDS: Synoptic climatology · Air masses · Ischaemic heart disease · Mortality · United Kingdom

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