Newsletter Archive
August 2019 Newsletter – Heatwaves

August 2019 Newsletter – Heatwaves

Not only do heatwaves cause significant distress amongst the more vulnerable populations including young children and the elderly (1), they are also very dangerous for the general population health. They impose a serious risk in an increased strain on our (struggling) emergency departments and GP services.
The impact of rising temperatures on health includes:

  • Increased dehydration 
  • Higher risk of cardiovascular disease & strokes 
  • Heat stroke 
  • Kidney injuries 
  • Asthma & COPD due to the higher levels of smog & air pollution (1)

While there are no figures currently for the heatwaves this year in relation to morbidity and mortality, some may remember the heatwaves of summer 2003, where it was reported more than 15,000 deaths in France alone (all of western Europe was affected with a total of 80,000 deaths) attributed to extreme heatwave conditions. (2)

(1) Planetary Health Alliance resources
(2) EPA – Heat Stress