Climate Change and Respiratory Health

Current Evidence and Knowledge Gaps

Tim K Takaro; Kim Knowlton; John R Balmes


Expert Rev Resp Med. 2013;7(4):349-361. 

In This Article

Heat Waves (COPD, CVD)

Over the last 50 years, average annual temperatures in the USA have increased more than 1°C.[4] From 1987 to 2005 in 43 large US cities, mortality increased 3.74% [95% PI 2.29–5.22%] during heat waves, compared with non-heat wave days.[32] During multi-day heat wave periods, excess deaths can range into the tens of thousands, as in the 2003 European and 2010 Russian heat waves, among other notable recent heat wave events. Extreme heat increases short-term premature mortality and morbidity from a variety of causes, including those directly heat-related (heat stroke, heat syncope, heat edema, etc.) and a range of cardiovascular, respiratory, kidney and other illnesses.[33–35] Increased temperature variability can also increase mortality among the elderly.[36]