Temperature and Neonatal Mortality in Northern Italy during XIXth Century: An Event History Analysis with Daily Data

Gianpiero Dalla Zuanna, University of Padua
Alessandro Rosina, Università Cattolica, Milan

During the ancient régime in the Northern Italy neonatal mortality was very high, particularly in winter. Although the connection between neonatal mortality and low temperatures may seem immediate, many research problems are still open. Recently, some meteorological checked and corrected daily data has been published, concerning temperatures for some European towns in 1700-2000. In order to use this information to study neonatal morality, we have linked birth and death registrations for Casalserugo (a parish near Venice) for 1818-1867. We study the association between daily data on temperature and mortality using a discrete-time event history logistic model for correlated observations. Our analysis shows that in Casalserugo during winter, the daily risk of death increased of 5% for each Celsius degree less. The vulnerability to low temperature was maximum during days 1-4 of life. This last result suggests that the main cause of death could be neonatal hypothermia, rather than respiratory diseases.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Health, Mortality, Aging, Biology