JAMA Study Warns of Climate Change-Associated Health Problems

September 24, 2014

The study warns that rising temperatures can aggravate cardiac conditions, respiratory conditions, and infections, among others.

Coupled with worldwide marches demanding action on climate change, a new study warns that rising temperatures and altered weather patterns in the United States may soon exacerbate many existing health risks.

Heat stroke, cardiac arrest and other heat-related illnesses are expected to increase as the number of extremely hot days rises, said lead author Jonathan Patz, MD, MPH, director of the Global Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

"Nearly every place east of the Rocky Mountains will see an increase in extreme hot days in the years to come," Dr Patz said. "Urban areas like New York City and Milwaukee are expected to triple the number of extremely hot days they currently have."

For example, New York City by 2050 could experience as many as 39 days where the mercury tops 90 degrees, compared with the current average of 13 days, Dr Patz said.

Respiratory diseases, infectious diseases, hunger and mental health problems also will likely increase in response to climate change, according to the analysis.

Report on Medline Plus: http://1.usa.gov/Y6pkHJ

Link to the research article in JAMA: http://bit.ly/Zd7NyD