Are hospital emergency department visits due to dog bites associated with ambient temperature? A time-series study in Beijing, China

Yongming Zhang, Qi Zhao, Wenyi Zhang, Shanshan Li, Gongbo Chen, Zhihai Han, Yuming Guo

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Background It is well documented that suboptimal ambient temperature is associated with cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. However, no study has examined the relation between temperature and dog bites. Objectives To study the association between ambient temperature and daily hospital emergency department visits due to dog bites (EDVDBs) in Beijing, China; and to explore whether the temperature-EDVDB association varies by sex and age. Methods Daily EDVDBs were collected from a hospital appointed for dog bites in Beijing during 2012–2014. A quasi-Poisson regression with distributed lag non-linear model (DLNM) was employed to estimate the impact of temperature on daily EDVDBs. Stratified analysis was performed to examine the temperature-EDVDB association by sex and age-groups. Sensitivity analysis was performed to check the robustness of the results by adjusting other meteorological variables and air pollutants. Results A total of 42,481 EDVDBs were collected, with daily cases ranged from 15 to 71. The association between temperature and EDVDBs was U-shaped, with extreme cold temperature showing a weaker, delayed and shorter effect on the risk of dog bites while the effect of extreme hot temperature being stronger, more immediate and lasting longer. Cold temperature had a greater impact on female whereas male was more sensitive to hot temperature. The temperature-EDVDB association was unapparent in the 15–21 years group. The cold effect was only significant in the 0–14 years group whereas all age-groups suffered from the similar heat effect except those aged 22–45 years. Adjusting other meteorological variables and air pollutants did not change the results. Conclusions The impact of temperature on EDVDBs is U-shaped in Beijing, China which varies by sex and age. The temperature effect is independent from other meteorological variables and air pollutants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-76
Number of pages6
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2017


  • Distributed lag non-linear model
  • Dog attack
  • Suboptimal temperature
  • Vulnerable populations

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