March 30 (UPI) – Hot weather can double or triple mortality from heart disease, according to study published Monday in the magazine circulation.
After examining death certificates in Kuwait, a country where high daytime temperatures are the norm, researchers found that the number of deaths from cardiovascular disease increased by more than 300 percent on days when the average temperature was 109 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
Researchers believe that given the rise in global temperature, people living in the hottest regions of the world are at a particularly high risk of heat-related cardiovascular death.
“Although cardiologists and other doctors have rightly focused on traditional risk factors such as diet, blood pressure, and tobacco use, climate change can exacerbate the burden of cardiovascular mortality, especially in very hot regions of the world,” writes study co-author Barrack. Alahmad, a missionary from the University of Kuwait and a PhD in environmental health at Harvard University, said in a press release from the Chan School of Public Health in Boston.
The highest temperature on earth over the past 76 years, 129 degrees Fahrenheit, was recently recorded in Kuwait. The average ambient temperature there is 82.2 degrees Fahrenheit.
Extreme heat can cause fever. When this happens, the body tries to cool by displacing blood from organs to the skin. This shift causes the heart to pump more blood, exposing it to much more stress.
To see how this affects heart health, a team of cardiologists, environmental hygienists, and epidemiologists examined the relationship between temperature and more than 15,000 deaths associated with cardiovascular disease in Kuwait.
All death certificates in the country from 2010 to 2016 that stated “any cardiovascular cause” for people 15 years of age or older were included in the analysis, which was funded by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Kuwait Science Development Fund.
Compared to the days with the lowest mortality temperature – around 94.5 degrees Fahrenheit – when the 24-hour average temperature was 109 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, the researchers found that the risk of dying from any cardiovascular cause was three times higher for the general population. Most often, men suffered from extreme temperatures, while mortality was 3.5 times higher, while mortality among women was almost 2.5 times higher.
In adolescents of working age and adults aged 15 to 64 years, mortality on extremely hot days was 3.8 times higher, and mortality was slightly more than two times higher among people aged 65 years and older.
“The warming of our planet is unevenly distributed. In regions that are hot by their nature, for example, in Kuwait and on the Arabian Peninsula, a sharp increase in temperature is observed, as never before. We sound the alarm that the population in this part of the world may be at increased risk. ” death from cardiovascular causes due to the heat, "Alahmad said." Although we cannot conclude from this analysis, men and people of working age could be at greater risk due to spending more time outdoors. "
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