Study Links Extreme Temperatures to Rising Stroke Deaths, Warns of Climate Change Impact

Study Links Extreme Temperatures to Rising Stroke Deaths | Healthcare 360 Magazine

[Source-ER of Texas]

A recent study published in the medical journal Neurology has revealed alarming statistics regarding stroke-related deaths attributed to extreme temperatures. According to the study, over half a million people worldwide succumbed to strokes in 2019 alone, with high and low temperatures being identified as contributing factors. As the planet continues to experience the effects of human-induced climate change, experts warn that the incidence of stroke deaths is likely to increase.

Global Trends in Stroke Deaths

The study, conducted by researchers from Xiangya Hospital Central South University in China, analyzed data from 204 countries and territories to assess the relationship between temperature fluctuations and stroke mortality. It was observed that since 1990, the number of strokes associated with extreme temperatures has been on the rise globally. Men were found to be more susceptible to temperature-related strokes than women across all age groups.

Impact of Health-Related Social Needs

Notably, the study identified various health-related social needs (HRSNs) that were associated with decreased mammography utilization rates among women aged 50 to 74. Factors such as lack of emotional support, food insecurity, and transportation issues were found to be significant barriers to accessing mammogram screenings.

The Role of Climate Change

With the ongoing phenomenon of climate change, the study predicts a further escalation in the number of strokes attributed to extreme temperatures. The weakening of the polar vortex, caused by rising land temperatures, can lead to cooler temperatures in certain regions, exacerbating the risk of stroke-related deaths.

Regional Disparities and Vulnerable Populations

Currently, stroke deaths linked to extreme temperatures are disproportionately concentrated in regions with higher levels of poverty and fragile healthcare systems, particularly in Africa and Central Asia. Urgent attention is needed to address these disparities and provide adequate healthcare infrastructure to vulnerable populations.

Call for Global Action

Dr. Mary Rice, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, emphasized the significance of the study’s findings in highlighting the global health implications of climate change. She stressed the urgent need for multilevel mitigation actions to reduce emissions, improve air quality, and address the growing burden of climate-related diseases.

Raising Awareness and Preventive Measures

Neurologist Dr. Ali Saad, affiliated with the Climate and Health Program at the University of Colorado, underscored the importance of educating individuals about the risks of extreme temperatures, particularly heat, in triggering strokes. Implementing preventive measures and raising awareness about climate-related health risks are essential steps in mitigating the impact of climate change on stroke mortality.

The study’s findings serve as a stark reminder of the far-reaching consequences of climate change on global health. Addressing the underlying factors contributing to temperature-related strokes and implementing proactive measures are crucial in safeguarding public health and mitigating the adverse effects of climate change on vulnerable populations worldwide.

Also Read: Rising Allergies Linked to Climate Change, WNC Doctor Warns

Most Popular Stories