Heatwave Exposure Linked to Considerable Mortality Burden

Geographic disparities seen in the temporal change of heatwave-related mortality burden
Heatwave Exposure Linked to Considerable Mortality Burden
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TUESDAY, May 14, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Heatwaves are associated with a considerable mortality burden, with geographic disparities apparent, according to a study published online May 14 in PLOS Medicine.

Qi Zhao, Ph.D., from the Cheeloo College of Medicine at Shandong University in Jinan, China, and colleagues quantified the global mortality burden associated with heatwaves and examined the temporal change from 1990 to 2019. Data were obtained from 750 locations of 43 countries or regions and five meta-predictors across the world.

The researchers found that 0.94 percent of deaths per warm season were estimated to be from heatwaves during 1990 to 2019, accounting for 236 deaths per 10 million residents. During the 30 years, there was relatively little change in the ratio between heatwave-related excess deaths and all premature deaths per warm season, while a decline of 7.2 percent per decade was seen in the number of heatwave-related excess deaths per 10 million residents per warm season compared with the 30-year average. The highest heatwave-related death ratio and rate were seen in Southern and Eastern Europe, in areas with polar and alpine climate, and/or with residents with high incomes. Geographic disparities were observed in the temporal change of heatwave-related mortality burden, with the greatest decline seen in locations with tropical climate or low incomes.

"The findings call for action from local to intergovernmental local policy-makers to design effective adaptation and mitigation strategies to address climate change," the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text

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