• 1 Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bandar Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur 56000, Malaysia
  • 2 Environmental Health Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Shah Alam 40170, Malaysia
  • 3 Environmental Health Unit, Disease Control Division, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Putrajaya 62590, Malaysia
  • 4 Occupational and Environmental Health Unit, Kelantan State Health Department, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Kota Bharu 15590, Malaysia
  • 5 Surveillance Unit, Kedah State Health Department, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Alor Setar 05400, Malaysia
  • 6 Department of Earth Sciences and Environment, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi 43600, Malaysia
Int J Environ Res Public Health, 2022 Dec 06;19(23).
PMID: 36498428 DOI: 10.3390/ijerph192316356


BACKGROUND: This study aims to investigate the current impacts of extreme temperature and heatwaves on human health in terms of both mortality and morbidity. This systematic review analyzed the impact of heatwaves on mortality, morbidity, and the associated vulnerability factors, focusing on the sensitivity component.

METHODS: This systematic review was conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses 2020 flow checklist. Four databases (Scopus, Web of Science, EBSCOhost, PubMed) were searched for articles published from 2012 to 2022. Those eligible were evaluated using the Navigation Guide Systematic Review framework.

RESULTS: A total of 32 articles were included in the systematic review. Heatwave events increased mortality and morbidity incidence. Sociodemographic (elderly, children, male, female, low socioeconomic, low education), medical conditions (cardiopulmonary diseases, renal disease, diabetes, mental disease), and rural areas were crucial vulnerability factors.

CONCLUSIONS: While mortality and morbidity are critical aspects for measuring the impact of heatwaves on human health, the sensitivity in the context of sociodemographic, medical conditions, and locality posed a higher vulnerability to certain groups. Therefore, further research on climate change and health impacts on vulnerability may help stakeholders strategize effective plans to reduce the effect of heatwaves.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.