‘Code red’: Health problems tied to climate change getting worse, reports show

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The health problems associated with climate change are getting all the worse, according to two reports published on Wednesday.

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NS annual reports Commissioned by the medical journal Lancet, it tracked 44 Granthshala health indicators linked to climate change, including heat-related deaths, infectious diseases and hunger. They’re all getting serious, said Lancet Countdown Project research director Marina Romanello, a biochemist.

“Rising temperatures are having consequences,” said University of Washington environmental health professor Christie Abbey, a report co-author.


This year’s digital report – a Granthshala one, aimed at the United States – called “Code Red for a Healthy Future” highlights alarming trends:

  • Vulnerable populations _ older people and the very young _ were subject to longer periods with dangerous heat last year. For people over 65, the researchers calculated that from 1986 to 2005 there were 3 billion more “person-days” exposed to extreme heat than average.
  • More people were in places where climate-sensitive diseases can flourish. Coastal regions have been warm enough for Vibrio bacteria to have increased in the Baltics, US Northeast and Pacific Northwest over the past decade. In some poor countries, the malaria-carrying mosquito season has expanded since the 1950s.

“Code red isn’t even a warm enough color for this report,” said Dr. Michelle Barry, a professor of tropical medicine at Stanford University. Compared to the previous Lancet report, “it is a grave realization that we are heading in the completely wrong direction.”

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Heat, fire and drought created the biggest problems in America. An unprecedented Pacific Northwest and Canadian heat wave hit this summer, which a previous study showed could not have happened without human-caused climate change.

Professor of Environmental Health and Emergency Medicine at the University of Washington, study co-author Dr. Jeremy Hayes said he witnessed the effects of climate change while working in Seattle’s emergency rooms during the summer.

“I saw paramedics who went from knee to knee burns to take care of heat stroke patients,” he said. “And I saw a lot of patients dying of heat”.

Another ER doctor in Boston said science is now showing what he has seen for years, with asthma from worsening allergies to asthma as an example.

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“Climate change is first and foremost a health crisis that is unfolding across the United States,” said report co-author Dr. Renee Salas.

Dr. Lynn Goldman, dean of the George Washington University School of Public Health, who was not part of the project, said health problems from climate change “are getting worse far faster than they were a few years ago.”

The report states that 65 out of 84 countries include subsidies on the burning of fossil fuels, leading to climate change. Dr. Richard Jackson, a UCLA public health professor who was not part of the study, said that doing so “feels like caring for a terminally ill patient while someone is giving them a lit cigarette and junk food.”

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