Home warmth and health status of COPD patients

Liesl M. Osman, Jon G. Ayres, Carole Garden, Karen Reglitz, Janice Lyon, J. Graham Douglas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Home Energy Efficiency guidelines recommend domestic indoor temperatures of 21 degrees C for at least 9 h per day in living areas. Is health status of patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) associated with maintaining this level of warmth in their homes Methods: In a cross-sectional observational study of patients, living in their own homes, living room (LR) and bedroom (BR) temperatures were measured at 30 min intervals over 1 week using electronic dataloggers. Health status was measured with the St Georges Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) and EuroQol: EQ VAS. Outdoor temperatures were provided by Met Office. Results: One hundred and forty eight patients consented to temperature monitoring. Patients mean age was 69 (SD 8.5) years, 67 (45) male, mean percentage of predicted Forced Expiratory Volume in one second (FEV1) 41.7 (SD 17.4). Fifty-eight (39) were current smokers. Independent of age, lung function, smoking and outdoor temperatures, poorer respiratory health status was significantly associated (P < 0.01) with fewer days with 9 h of warmth at 21 degrees C in the LR. A sub analysis showed that patients who smoked experienced more health effects than non-smokers (P < 0.01). Conclusion: Maintaining the warmth guideline of 21 degrees C in living areas for at least 9 h per day was associated with better health status for COPD patients. Patients who were continuing smokers were more vulnerable to reduction in warmth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-405
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Issue number4
Early online date26 Mar 2008
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008


  • health status
  • indoor environment
  • monitoring elderly
  • respiratory disease
  • symptoms and COPD
  • obstructive pulmonary-disease
  • excess winter mortality
  • quality-of-life
  • elderly-people
  • risk-factors
  • temperature
  • symptoms
  • Britain


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