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Extreme Heat Threatens Cardiovascular Health Say Experts

Heatwaves and other extreme heat events are expected to become more often severe and long-lasting. Extreme heat is dangerous to people’s health since it raises the risk of morbidity and mortality. Seventy thousand deaths were ascribed to the European heatwave of 2003, and 55000 deaths were attributed to the heatwave of 2010.

The change in climate leads to a higher temperature in the season that can affect the health of those who suffer from cardiovascular diseases in routine life.

Extreme Heat Threatens Cardiovascular Health Say Experts

Age chronic illnesses, social isolation, some medications, and a lack of access to air conditioning are all risk factors for heat-related hospitalization. Cardiovascular diseases are frequently identified as a risk factor for heat-related hospitalization and death among chronic illnesses.

Extreme heat events are becoming more frequent and intense as a result of global warming. This excessive heat is linked to a higher risk of unfavorable cardiovascular events, especially those who already have heart disease. Experts address the effects of high heat on cardiovascular health, why health professionals should be concerned, and what recommendations they may make to mitigate the effects.

“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently reported that global temperatures are rising at a greater rate than previously projected and that the number of extreme heat days will significantly increase across most land regions”, explained senior author Daniel Gagnon. “Although we don’t yet fully understand the reasons people with cardiovascular disease are at greater risk of hospitalizations and death during extreme heat events.”

Heat exposure may place too much strain on the heart in people with heart disease, and heat exposure may raise the chance of blood clots forming in the blood arteries that supply the heart, according to the authors.

Preventive efforts to lower cardiovascular risk during extreme heat events, according to the authors, should attempt to reduce the amount of hyperthermia and dehydration. Heat-health warning systems in Canada serve as the first line of defense, increasing awareness of impending heat events and advising methods to reduce the risk of heat-related complications.

The scientists looked at a lot of evidence-based epidemiological research and found a continuous link between excessive heat and a higher chance of bad cardiovascular outcomes. They also looked at systematic reviews and meta-analyses that looked at the impact of severe heat on negative cardiovascular outcomes and found that heatwaves raise the risk of death from ischemic heart disease, stroke, and heart failure.

Recent research suggests that using an electric fan moistening the skin and submerging the feet in tap water as simple ways to stay cool during extreme heat events are viable alternatives to air conditioning. “Air conditioning is the most effective strategy that can be recommended since it effectively removes the heat stimulus and minimizes the risk of adverse cardiovascular outcomes”, commented Dr. Gagnon. “However, less than one-third of global households own air conditioning.”

More research is needed to better understand why intense heat is linked to a higher risk of unfavorable cardiovascular outcomes as well as the impact of cardiovascular medicine on the human body’s physiological reactions during heat exposure, according to the authors. During heat waves, the best cooling measures for people with heart disease can be recommended as well as safe environmental limitations for outdoor exercise in people with heart disease.

“Cardiovascular health professionals need to be aware of the negative consequences of extreme heat on cardiovascular health. Better awareness and understanding of the cardiovascular consequences of extreme heat and of the measures to take to prevent and mitigate adverse events will help us all assess the risk and optimize the care of patients exposed to an increasingly warm climate,” concluded Dr. Gagnon.

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