Fossil fuel plant releasing air pollution
Photo by Ella Ivanescu on Unsplash

Climate change linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular issues, including death

Exposure to environmental stressors related to climate change - such as extreme weather and high temperatures - is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a review of 492 studies published in JAMA Cardiology.

In short:

  • An increased risk of cardiovascular disease was specifically linked to extreme temperatures, ground-level air pollution, hurricanes, cyclones, and dust storms.
  • In some cases, experiencing a combination of stressors (such as pollution and high temperatures) amplified the risk.
  • Older adults, individuals from minority groups, and those in low income communities were disproportionately affected by these stressors.

Key quote:

“Urgent action is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower climate change–associated cardiovascular risk in vulnerable populations.”

Why this matters:

As climate change continues to alter global weather patterns, the environmental consequences examined in this article are becoming more common and more intense. With international climate agreements like COP28 failing to definitively address fossil fuels and other drivers of global warming, the authors emphasize the need to recognizethe human health impacts of climate change as a way to push for concrete action.

Related EHN coverage:

More resources:

Kazi, Dhruv et al. for JAMA Cardiology. June 12, 2024

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