Ambient temperature and mental health hospitalizations in Bern, Switzerland: A 45-year time-series study.

Bundo, Marvin; de Schrijver, Evan; Federspiel, Andrea; Toreti, Andrea; Xoplaki, Elena; Luterbacher, Jürg; Franco, Oscar H.; Müller, Thomas; Vicedo Cabrera, Ana Maria (2021). Ambient temperature and mental health hospitalizations in Bern, Switzerland: A 45-year time-series study. PLoS ONE, 16(10), e0258302. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.pone.0258302

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Psychiatric disorders constitute a major public health concern that are associated with substantial health and socioeconomic burden. Psychiatric patients may be more vulnerable to high temperatures, which under current climate change projections will most likely increase the burden of this public health concern.


This study investigated the short-term association between ambient temperature and mental health hospitalizations in Bern, Switzerland.


Daily hospitalizations for mental disorders between 1973 and 2017 were collected from the University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy in Bern. Population-weighted daily mean ambient temperatures were derived for the catchment area of the hospital from 2.3-km gridded weather maps. Conditional quasi-Poisson regression with distributed lag linear models were applied to assess the association up to three days after the exposure. Stratified analyses were conducted by age, sex, and subdiagnosis, and by subperiods (1973-1989 and 1990-2017). Additional subanalyses were performed to assess whether larger risks were found during the warm season or were due to heatwaves.


The study included a total number of 88,996 hospitalizations. Overall, the hospitalization risk increased linearly by 4.0% (95% CI 2.0%, 7.0%) for every 10°C increase in mean daily temperature. No evidence of a nonlinear association or larger risks during the warm season or heatwaves was found. Similar estimates were found across for all sex and age categories, and larger risks were found for hospitalizations related to developmental disorders (29.0%; 95% CI 9.0%, 54.0%), schizophrenia (10.0%; 95% CI 4.0%, 15.0%), and for the later rather than the earlier period (5.0%; 95% CI 2.0%, 8.0% vs. 2.0%; 95% CI -3.0%, 8.0%).


Our findings suggest that increasing temperatures could negatively affect mental status in psychiatric patients. Specific public health policies are urgently needed to protect this vulnerable population from the effects of climate change.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Translational Research Center
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM)

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Health Sciences (GHS)

UniBE Contributor:

Bundo, Marvin, de Schrijver, Evan, Federspiel, Andrea, Franco Duran, Oscar Horacio, Müller, Thomas (A), Vicedo Cabrera, Ana Maria


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services




Public Library of Science




Beatrice Minder Wyssmann

Date Deposited:

15 Oct 2021 11:35

Last Modified:

29 Mar 2023 23:37

Publisher DOI:


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