Climate Change Will Negatively Impact Children's Health

Strongest association seen for increase in preterm birth with increasing temperatures
Climate Change Will Negatively Impact Children's Health
Adobe Stock
Medically Reviewed By:
Meeta Shah, M.D.

FRIDAY, March 8, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Children will have increased prevalence of disease due to anthropogenic climate change, according to a review published online Feb. 21 in Science of the Total Environment.

Lewis J.Z. Weeda, from University of Western Australia in Perth, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review and meta-analysis to identify which climate-health relationships pose the greatest threats to children.

Based on 163 included studies, the researchers found that the strongest association was increasing risk (60 percent, on average) for preterm birth from exposure to temperature extremes. Respiratory disease, mortality, and morbidity were also influenced by climate changes. Compared with temperature effects, the effects of different air pollutants on health outcomes were considerably smaller, but 80 percent of pollutant studies found at least a weak effect. Protective factors against climate-related child-health threats included economic stability and strength, access to quality health care, adequate infrastructure, and food security. Local geographical, climate, and socioeconomic conditions were tied to variance in threats to these services.

"Our quantification of the impact of various aspects of climate change on child health can contribute to the planning of mitigation that will improve the health of current and future generations," the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text

Related Stories

No stories found.