Article

Climate change and human health: Impacts, vulnerability and public health

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, WC1E 7HT London, UK.
Public Health (Impact Factor: 1.48). 08/2006; 120(7):585-96. DOI: 10.1016/j.puhe.2006.01.002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT It is now widely accepted that climate change is occurring as a result of the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere arising from the combustion of fossil fuels. Climate change may affect health through a range of pathways, for example as a result of increased frequency and intensity of heat waves, reduction in cold related deaths, increased floods and droughts, changes in the distribution of vector-borne diseases and effects on the risk of disasters and malnutrition. The overall balance of effects on health is likely to be negative and populations in low-income countries are likely to be particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects. The experience of the 2003 heat wave in Europe shows that high-income countries may also be adversely affected. Adaptation to climate change requires public health strategies and improved surveillance. Mitigation of climate change by reducing the use of fossil fuels and increasing a number of uses of the renewable energy technologies should improve health in the near-term by reducing exposure to air pollution.

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Available from: Andy Haines, Jan 14, 2015
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    • "Anticipated risks from heat waves include mainly indirect damage to residential buildings in form of health impacts caused by high indoor and outdoor temperatures due to increased solar radiation which can lead to deaths and considerable harmful health effects from heat stress and dehydration, or can more generally influence people's well-being negatively (Nikolowski et al., 2013; Guan, 2012). A demonstration of society's sensitivity to heat stress was seen in the summer of 2003 when a heat wave in Western Europe led to around 40,000 reported excess deaths, especially among the elderly share of the population (Haines et al., 2006). Due to climate change, heat waves of this sort are expected to be more commonly occurring, also in currently cold areas such as Scandinavia where there is a low preparedness to deal with these types of events (Coley et al., 2012). "
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    • "E-mail: lori.hunter@colorado.edu particularly in low-income places with population concentrations in flood plains or coastal zones and limited public health infrastructure (Haines et al. 2006). Climate change and the anticipated increase in extreme weather events may exacerbate drowning as a public health concern. "
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    • "The most vulnerable groups are elderly, young children and people with cardiovascular diseases [2] [3]. But also amongst other citizens sleep, the ability to concentrate and work productivity are affected [4]. "
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