"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Extreme heat could increase the variety of cardiovascular deaths

Oct. 30, 2023 — Cardiovascular deaths attributable to extreme heat could double and possibly triple within the United States by mid-century unless motion is taken to scale back greenhouse gas emissions, the American Heart Association said Monday.

The predictions were presented in a study published in AHA's diary Traffic.

According to at least one evaluation, extreme heat, defined as a maximum heat index of 90 degrees Fahrenheit or greater, was related to 1,651 additional cardiovascular deaths per yr from 2008 to 2019.

By 2036-2065, this annual figure could rise to 4,320 additional deaths if proposed measures to scale back greenhouse gas emissions are implemented. If only minimal measures were taken to scale back greenhouse gases, 5,491 such deaths might be expected, the study said.

“Climate change and its many manifestations will play an increasingly important role in the health of communities around the world in the coming decades,” says Dr. Sameed Khatana, lead writer of the study, assistant professor of medication on the University of Pennsylvania and cardiologist on the Philadelphia VA Medical Center, said in a press release.

“Climate change is also a health equity issue because it disproportionately impacts certain individuals and populations and may exacerbate pre-existing health disparities in the United States.”

Existing health inequalities will worsen if nothing is finished, the press release said. According to the study, the rise in heat-related cardiovascular deaths is anticipated to be 3.5 times higher in people aged 65 and older in comparison with younger adults, and 4.6 times higher in black adults than in white adults.

Khatana said previous studies suggested Black residents could have less access to air con and tree cover. They may additionally be more exposed to the “urban heat island effect,” where areas with more homes, buildings and roads experience greater temperature increases than less developed areas.