Friday, August 13, 2010

Climate change will increase number of heart deaths

Climate change means a lot more than just rising water levels and the fact that we have to adjust to warmer weather. There is a lot more at stake, and now a new study shows that climate change will increase our health quite extremely.

Many more people will die of heart problems as global warming continues, experts are warning. Cllmate extremes of hot and cold will become more common and this will puts strain on people's hearts, doctors say. A study in the British Medical Journal found that each 1C temperature drop on a single day in the UK is linked to 200 extra heart attacks.

Heatwaves, meanwhile, increase heart deaths from other causes, as shown by the events in Paris during summer 2003. Over 11,000 people died in France's heatwave in the first half of August of that year when temperatures rose to over 40C. Many of these were sudden cardiac deaths related to heart conditions other than heart attack. That same summer, record-breaking temperatures led to 2,000 excess deaths in the UK. And experts predict that by the 2080s events similar to these will happen every year. The risks posed by extreme spells of hot and cold are largely within two weeks of exposure and are greatest for the most frail - the elderly and those with heart problems already, say experts.

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