(HealthDay News) — By midcentury, extreme heat is projected to be associated with large increases in excess cardiovascular deaths, according to a study published online Oct. 30 in Circulation.
Sameed Ahmed M. Khatana, MD, MPH, from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues examined the burden of extreme heat-associated cardiovascular deaths in the United States using data on cardiovascular deaths among adults and the number of extreme heat days in each county in the United States from 2008 to 2019. County-level projected numbers of extreme heat days and populations under two scenarios were obtained for the midcentury period (2036 to 2065): shared socioeconomic pathways (SSP)2-4.5 (representing demographic projections from a middle-of-the-road socioeconomic scenario and intermediate emission increase) and SSP5-8.5 (demographic projections in a fossil-fueled development-based economy and large increase in emissions). The association of cardiovascular mortality with extreme heat was estimated.
The researchers found that from 2008 to 2019, extreme heat was associated with 1,651 excess cardiovascular deaths per year. Extreme heat is projected to be associated with 4,320 and 5,491 excess deaths annually by midcentury, representing increases of 162 and 233% under SSP2-4.5 and SSP5-8.5, respectively. In the SSP2-4.5 scenario, elderly adults are projected to have a 3.5 times greater increase in deaths compared with nonelderly adults, and non-Hispanic Blacks are projected to have a 4.6 times greater increase versus non-Hispanic whites.
“Clinical and community-based mitigation strategies, along with global efforts to confront climate change, are needed to address this growing public health issue,” the authors write.
One author disclosed ties to Abiomed and Biosense Webster.