top of page

Ambient temperature and kidney function in primary care patients​

Schietzel S, Zechmann S, Valeri F, Staudinger M, Cippà P, Seibert J, Senn O, Seeger H

J Nephrol (2023)


Exposure to high ambient temperatures is associated with a risk of acute kidney injury. However, evidence comes from emergency departments or extreme weather exposures. It is unclear whether temperature-related adverse kidney outcomes can also be detected at a community level in a temperate climate zone


In a 9.5-year retrospective cohort study we correlated estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) values of Swiss adult primary care patients from the FIRE cohort (Family medicine Research using Electronic medical records) with same-day maximum local ambient temperature data. We investigated 5 temperature groups (< 15 °C, 15–19 °C, 20–24 °C, 25–29 °C and  ≥ 30 °C) as well as possible interactions for patients with increased kidney vulnerability (chronic heart failure, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, therapy with renin–angiotensin–aldosterone-system (RAAS) inhibitors, diuretics or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).


We included 18,000 primary care patients who altogether provided 132,176 creatinine measurements. In the unadjusted analysis, higher ambient temperatures were associated with lower eGFR across all age and vulnerability groups. In the adjusted models, we did not find a consistent association.The highest ambient temperature differences (> 25 or > 30 versus < 15 °C) were associated with marginally reduced kidney function only in patients with ≥ 3 risk factors for kidney vulnerability, with a maximum estimated glomerular filtration rate reduction of −2.9 ml/min/1.73m2 (SE 1.0), P 0.003.


In a large primary care cohort from a temperate climate zone, we did not find an association between ambient temperatures and kidney function. A marginal inverse association in highly vulnerable patients is of unclear clinical relevance.

bottom of page