Productivity-adjusted life years lost due to non-optimum temperatures in Brazil: A nationwide time-series study

Bo Wen, Zanfina Ademi, Yao Wu, Rongbin Xu, Pei Yu, Tingting Ye, Micheline de Sousa Zanotti Stagliorio Coêlho, Paulo Hilario Nascimento Saldiva, Yuming Guo, Shanshan Li

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Non-optimal temperatures are associated with premature deaths globally. However, the evidence is limited in low- and middle-income countries, and the productivity losses due to non-optimal temperatures have not been quantified. We aimed to estimate the work-related impacts and economic losses attributable to non-optimal temperatures in Brazil. We collected daily mortality data from 510 immediate regions in Brazil during 2000 and 2019. A two-stage time-series analysis was applied to evaluate the association between non-optimum temperatures and the Productivity-Adjusted Life-Years (PALYs) lost. The temperature-PALYs association was fitted for each location in the first stage and then we applied meta-analyses to obtain the national estimations. The attributable fraction (AF) of PALY lost due to ambient temperatures and the corresponding economic costs were calculated for different subgroups of the working-age population. A total of 3,629,661 of PALYs lost were attributed to non-optimal temperatures during 2000–2019 in Brazil, corresponding to 2.90 % (95 % CI: 1.82 %, 3.95 %) of the total PALYs lost. Non-optimal temperatures have led to US$104.86 billion (95 % CI: 65.95, 142.70) of economic costs related to PALYs lost and the economic burden was more substantial in males and the population aged 15–44 years. Higher risks of extreme cold temperatures were observed in the South region in Brazil while extreme hot temperatures were observed in the Central West and Northeast regions. In conclusion, non-optimal temperatures are associated with considerable labour losses as well as economic costs in Brazil. Tailored policies and adaptation strategies should be proposed to mitigate the impacts of non-optimal temperatures on the labour supply in a changing climate.

Original languageEnglish
Article number162368
Number of pages7
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2023


  • Economic cost
  • Mortality
  • Non-optimal temperature
  • Productivity

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