How Extreme Heat Impacts Heart Health

A higher number of high heat days correlates with more cardiovascular deaths, according to new research.

1 minute read

November 6, 2023, 8:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

According to an article by Maryn McKenna in Wired, new research suggests that “cardiovascular deaths linked to extreme heat could triple to almost 5,500 extra deaths per year, if nothing is done to curb the greenhouse gas emissions that are driving climate change and extreme heat events” by the middle of the century. Even with some emissions reductions, the study predicts a doubling of cardiovascular deaths.

“Thanks to the combined influences of age, genetic vulnerability, geography, and the heat-trapping aspects of urban development, the investigators predict that older adults will be at higher risk, and Black adults will be at higher risk than any other group,” the study notes.

“The projections confirm what other researchers have been finding: a reliable relationship between climate change and harm to human health, not just in the US but worldwide.” Meanwhile, a vast web of policies and historical decisions put low-income households and communities of color at higher risk for being impacted by extreme weather and pollution.

Cities are increasingly recognizing the dangers of extreme heat and taking steps to identify the areas at highest risk and launch interventions such as increasing green space, providing shade, and installing reflective surfaces to mitigate the urban heat island effect.

Wednesday, November 1, 2023 in Wired

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