A literature review of action plans for the impact of heat waves on health

Y. U.Kai Lin, Pay Liam Lin, Ming Hsu Li, Ling Y.A. Huang, Fung Chang Sung, Y. U.Chun Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Many studies have associated episodes of extremely high temperature and prolonged heat waves with increased risks in terms of mortality and morbidity. This study investigated the various health warning systems regarding heat waves that had been proposed by Western countries and reviewed worldwide publications and reports available from 2004 to 2012. Temperature-health associations should be identified before establishing a heat wave warning system. Patients with diabetes mellitus, renal diseases, disabilities, and chronic cardiopulmonary diseases are highly vulnerable to extremely high temperatures. A national weather system is expected to disseminate the heat warning accurately and in a timely fashion. The regional health authority is the lead agency responsible for public health responses to heat and the communication of risks to the public. Application of the temperature index and responses to heat wave warnings vary among areas depending on weather conditions and socio-demographic status. Based on our evaluation, a heat wave warning system would be expected to significantly reduce the impact on health from extremely high temperatures. Studies of temperature-health associations and heat wave warning systems should be established in Taiwan to mitigate the impact of global warming. (Taiwan J Public Health. 2012;31(6):512-522).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)512-522
Number of pages11
JournalTaiwan Journal of Public Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2012


  • Heat wave
  • Mortality
  • Temperature
  • Warning system


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