High temperatures are linked to more than half a million stroke deaths per year. With climate change, expect more-Waukeshahealthinsurance.com

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In the year In 2019 alone, more than half a million people died from heat- and cold-related strokes, a new study found. The number is expected to rise as global temperatures rise due to man-made climate change.

The study, published Wednesday in the medical journal Neurology, found that since 1990, the number of strokes caused by high and low temperatures has increased worldwide. Men had more heat-related strokes than women, but it affects people of all ages.

For this study, researchers looked at temperature and stroke rates in 204 countries and territories. Researchers at Xiangya Hospital, Central South University in China developed a model using data on morbidity, mortality and disability and climate data on temperature, cloud cover and weather variables.

According to the authors of the study, as the population ages and develops, the number of people suffering from strokes increases, but this does not cover everything. “Uncomfortable temperatures” have made a difference: the number of people with strokes due to hot and cold temperatures has increased, and in 2010 It was higher in 2019 than in 1990.

In the year In 2019, there were low temperatures which led to a significant increase in the number of strokes. While it may seem counterintuitive to global warming, Cold temperatures It comes with climate change. The warmer air on Earth interferes with the polar vortex – the dense cold air around the poles – and when it weakens, it can lead to colder temperatures.

Currently, heat-related stroke deaths are disproportionately high in areas of the world where people live in poverty and have weak health care systems. The rapid increase in the burden of stroke due to high temperatures in Central Asia “also warrants special attention,” the study said.

As the planet warms, according to the study, the burden of heat stroke has “increased rapidly” and this number will grow “rapidly” in the future.

It's hot here. last year In the year It was the hottest since scientists began recording global temperatures in 1850, and temperatures are expected to break more records in the near future. This March was the hottest on record.

Dr. Mary Rice, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School who did not work on the new study, said the findings are important.

“I really think that team did a really good job of looking at the historical data and bringing attention to the health issue,” said Rice, a pulmonologist at Beth Israel Deacon. Medical Center in Boston. “The overall burden of heat-related stroke deaths is enormous.”

Rice recently in Frontiers in Science This climate change is increasing the number of immune-mediated diseases such as allergies, asthma, autoimmune diseases and cancers. Rice's research suggests that multi-level mitigation measures to reduce emissions and improve air quality are urgent to tackle the climate crisis.

She said that if immediate international action is not taken, the world is going to see an even worse burden of disease.

Stroke is already a major health problem. is it The third leader Cause of injury worldwide and One leader Causes of death, earlier Studies show.

The new study doesn't set out to explain why higher temperatures associated with the climate crisis seem to be causing more strokes. Other studies It has shown that when the temperature is too hot, it is difficult for the body to sweat and cool down. This can lead to what doctors say hypercoagulable state Intravenous, when the blood is light and increases the risk of bleeding. People can also become dehydrated, which forces the heart to work harder and increases a person's risk of stroke or heart attack.

A very cold temperature can cause a person to have a stroke. When our body is exposed to a cold, it stimulates the skin's cold receptors; Sympathetic nervous systemA network of nerves that control the body's rhythm or Flight response. That vasoconstriction, the narrowing of blood vessels in the skin, arms and legs, can lead to high blood pressure and stroke.

Dr. Ali Saad, a neurologist affiliated with the Climate and Health Program at the University of Colorado, spoke about this phenomenon in stroke patients and recalled how dangerous high temperatures, especially heat, can be. He said he takes their phones and adds weather alerts to remind them when the temperature will rise.

“I worry about them getting too hot and I tell them there are things we can do to prevent strokes and worse climate change,” Saad said.

Saad did not work on the new study, but he hopes that this latest research will attract the attention of world leaders and influence public policy.

“Extreme weather, or particularly high temperatures, are known to increase the risk of stroke, but this study is the first to look at things on a global scale,” Saad said. “When people think of pollution or heat, they tend to think of low- to middle-income countries when they're dealing with health outcomes, strokes or the like, but it's happening across the board and it's expected to get worse.”

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