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: 1.43). 08/2006; 120(7):585-96. DOI: 10.1016/j.puhe.2006.01.002
Source: PubMed


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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    • "The inclusive climate change effect on health is probably going to be harmful, and populations in poor countries are expected to be mostly susceptible to the negative effects. The study suggests that easing of climate change by decreasing the consumption of fossil fuels and increasing the adoption of the renewable energy technologies is supposed to improve health shortly by diminishing air pollution (Haines et al. 2006). It is evident that nitrous oxide (from meadow land and arable land usage to grow feed crops) and methane (from the digestive activities of ruminant animals like cows and sheep) account for almost 80 % of overall agricultural GHG emissions . "
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of the study is to examine the impact of environmental indicators and air pollution on “health” and “wealth” for the low-income countries. The study used a number of promising variables including arable land, fossil fuel energy consumption, population density, and carbon dioxide emissions that simultaneously affect the health (i.e., health expenditures per capita) and wealth (i.e., GDP per capita) of the low-income countries. The general representation for low income countries has shown by aggregate data that consist of 39 observations from the period of 1975–2013. The study decomposes the data set from different econometric tests for managing robust inferences. The study uses temporal forecasting for the health and wealth model by a vector error correction model (VECM) and an innovation accounting technique. The results show that environment and air pollution is the menace for low-income countries’ health and wealth. Among environmental indicators, arable land has the largest variance to affect health and wealth for the next 10-year period, while air pollution exerts the least contribution to change health and wealth of low-income countries. These results indicate the prevalence of war situation, where environment and air pollution become visible like “gun” and “bullet” for low-income countries. There are required sound and effective macroeconomic policies to combat with the environmental evils that affect the health and wealth of the low-income countries.
    Environmental Science and Pollution Research 10/2015; DOI:10.1007/s11356-015-5591-3 · 2.83 Impact Factor
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    • "Extremely low and high temperatures are mortality risk factors (Baccini et al., 2008; Curriero et al., 2002; McMichael et al., 2008), and previous studies suggested that susceptible populations such as infants and the elderly are greatly affected by temperature changes (Basu et al., 2005, 2008; Gouveia et al., 2003; Haines et al., 2006a, 2006b). Although mean temperatures have increased due to climate change, dynamic changes with high variability in temperatures are frequently observed, which also poses a mortality risk (Bobb et al., 2014; Tobias et al., 2014). "
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    ABSTRACT: An adverse association between diurnal temperature range (DTR) and mortality has been suggested, but with variable relationships in different cities. Comprehensive approaches to understanding the health effects of DTR using multinational data are required. We investigated the association between DTR and cause-specific mortality in an age-specific population and assessed the dependency of the health effects of DTR on geographic and climatic factors. Poisson generalized linear regression analyses with allowances for over-dispersion were applied to daily DTR and cause-specific mortality data from 30 cities in China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan between 1979 and 2010, adjusted for various climatic and environmental factors. City-specific effects of DTR were estimated and summarized for the overall effects using geographic and climatic determinants in a meta-analysis. For all-cause, circulatory, and respiratory mortality, the greatest city-specific effects per 1°C DTR were found in Tianjin, China (1.80%; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.48, 3.14); Tangshan, China (2.25%; 95% CI: 0.65, 3.87); and Incheon, Korea (2.84%; 95% CI: 0.04, 5.73), respectively, and overall effects across 30 cities were 0.58% (95% CI: 0.44, 0.72), 0.81% (95% CI: 0.60, 1.03), and 0.90% (95% CI: 0.63, 1.18), respectively. Using quartile cutoff values for climatic (DTR, and mean temperature) and geographic (latitude, and longitude) characteristics, we divided the 30 cities into 4 different groups and conducted a meta-analysis within the groups using either a random or fixed effects model. Adverse effects of DTR were more pronounced for those aged ≥65years and varied according to geographic, longitudinal (0.07%; 95% CI: 0.05, 0.10), and climatic characteristics and the scale of DTR (0.33%; 95% CI: 0.12, 0.55) for overall all-cause mortality. The DTR is a risk factor affecting human health, depending on geographic location and the temperature variation, with particular vulnerability in aged populations.
    Science of The Total Environment 09/2015; 539:313-321. DOI:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.08.134 · 4.10 Impact Factor
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    • "Climate change may cause changes in the geographical distribution of these vectors; some places may cease to be endemic areas while areas that were not endemic may be able to harbor these vectors, thus new human populations would be exposed to the diseases they transmit (Rogers & Randolph 2009, Haines et al. 2006). Extreme weather events can create conditions that lead to outbreaks of infectious diseases; an example is the heavy rains that leave adequate sites for mosquito breeding (Haines et al. 2006), increasing their population and the probability of human contact. Insects tend to be more active at warmer temperatures and there is scientific evidence to suggest that due to climate change, infectious diseases have already been introduced in geographical areas not previously affected (Shuman 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: Mosquitoes are a remarkable group of epidemiological interest, for their large numbers and the number of diseases they transmit to humans and animals. There are studies in which climate change can affect mosquito populations, mediated by changes in temperature, rainfall, relative humidity and water level changes etc., and it has been suggested that climate change may affect their disease transmission to vertebrates. Changes in populations of Culicidae could be responsible for the emergence and re-emergence of diseases such as encephalitis, West Nile virus and dengue, considered today to be emerging vector-borne diseases in the world. This has become evident in Chile by the introduction of dengue in Easter Island due to travel in the Pacific islands, an expression of globalization. The effect of climate change on animal populations including vectors and reservoirs of zoonotic potential is now a latent issue that requires a great deal of interdisciplinary research. Keywords: Mosquito, Culex, climate change, vector-borne diseases.
    Parasitologia Latinoamericana 09/2015; 64(2):42-53.
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