Patterns of extreme temperature-related catastrophic events in Europe including the Russian Federation: a cross-sectional analysis of the Emergency Events Database


The most frequent type of the 243 events recorded in EM-DAT were cold waves (54.7%). However, cold waves and severe winter conditions only accounted for 6460 deaths (4.5%), while heat waves were associated with 137.533 deaths (95.5%). The five most severe heat waves in 2003, 2006, 2010, 2013 and 2015 were associated with a total of 135.089 deaths. The most severe heat waves were geographically distributed over the Russian Federation (2010), as well as France, Italy, Spain and Germany, each in 2003. Although cold waves are more frequently reported in EM-DAT, heat waves are the major cause for temperature-related deaths. In order to better protect the public, it is important to address resiliency and vulnerability of populations at risk and age groups.

In BMJ Open 2021;11:e046359
Heiko Brennenstuhl
Medical professional, board-certified pediatrician, MBA & Postdoctoral Research Fellow

I am interested in inherited monogenic disorders and specialize in stem cell research and high-throughput data analysis.