Background and aims The impact of temperature on the incidence of acute respiratory tract infections has long been a controversial factor in the process of clinical diagnosis, while also bearing considerable epidemiological importance. Our aim was to examine the correlation between the incidence of respiratory tract infections and the enviroment temperature.
Methods We performed a retrospective analysis in order to establish an association between the outdoor temperature and the number of paediatric department presentations and admissions for upper and lower acute respiratory tract infections in the area of Cluj county, Romania.
Results We observed a statistically significant moderate negative correlation (p<0.001, R=−0.512) between the daily average temperature and the number of consultations conducted in our paediatric department that led to the diagnosis of an upper or a lower acute respiratory tract infection. Similar correlation seemed to be found when considering the frequency of acute respiratory tract infections and the average temperature two days (R=−0.526) and five days (R=−0.534) prior to the presentation date. On the contrary, the number of admissions for acute respiratory tract infections did not follow the same pattern.
Conclusions Observation suggested that decreased environment temperature was associated with an increase in the number of acute respiratory tract infections. Also, a lowering of outdoor temperature was followed by an augmentation of hospital presentations for acute respiratory tract infections. Extended observation comprising data from several cold seasons is needed in order to evaluate the impact of temperature on the number of addmission for acute respiratory infections.
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