1 Citation (Scopus)


High temperatures and heatwaves are occurring more frequently and lasting longer because of climate change. A synthesis of existing evidence of heat-related health impacts in the Western Pacific Region (WPR) is lacking. This review addresses this gap.

The Scopus and PubMed databases were searched for reviews about heat impacts on mortality, cardiovascular morbidity, respiratory morbidity, dehydration and heat stroke, adverse birth outcomes, and sleep disturbance. The last search was conducted in February 2023 and only publications written in English were included. Primary studies and reviews that did not include specific WPR data were excluded. Data were extracted from 29 reviews.

There is strong evidence of heat-related mortality in the WPR, with the evidence concentrating on high-income countries and China. Associations between heat and cardiovascular or respiratory morbidity are not robust. There is evidence of heat-related dehydration and stroke, and preterm and still births in high-income countries in the WPR. Some evidence of sleep disturbance from heat is found for Australia, Japan and China.

Mortality is by far the most studied and robust health outcome of heat. Future research should focus on morbidity, and lower income countries in continental Asia and Pacific Island States, where there is little review-level evidence.

Funded by the World Health Organization WPR Office.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100952
Number of pages14
JournalThe Lancet Regional Health - Western Pacific
Early online date3 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s)

Structured keywords

  • Water and Environmental Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Heat impacts on human health in the Western Pacific Region: an umbrella review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this