New Research Suggests That Extreme Heat Could Cause A 233% Increase In Cardiovascular Deaths Over The Next 50 Years If Greenhouse Gas Emissions Are Not Significantly Curbed

Siphosethu Fanti/ - - illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

Climate experts caution that global warming-induced heatwaves might cause a threefold increase in heart-related fatalities over the next 50 years. So, if we don’t significantly curb emissions, the rate of deaths from cardiovascular problems like heart attacks and strokes could skyrocket by as much as 233% within the next 13 to 47 years.

A study affiliated with the American Heart Association further points out that the elderly and Black communities are particularly vulnerable. The team emphasizes that the U.S. could see more than twice the current number of cardiovascular deaths due to rising temperatures.

The research stresses the urgent need for stronger measures to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. According to the team, doing so could notably lower the death toll attributed to extreme heat.

As it stands, someone in the United States dies due to a cardiovascular condition—which includes various heart and blood vessel issues—every 33 seconds.

From 2008 to 2019, the U.S. saw an extra 1,651 heart-related deaths each summer due to extreme heat. The study points out that future levels of greenhouse gas emissions will be a key factor in shaping the severity of heat conditions and, by extension, their impact on public health.

The University of Pennsylvania team behind the study had earlier examined data from U.S. counties between 2008 and 2017. Their analysis showed a distinct correlation between more days of extreme heat and a surge in heart-related deaths.

This earlier research laid the groundwork for the current study, which uses models to forecast future levels of greenhouse gas emissions and to consider upcoming socioeconomic and demographic shifts in the U.S. population from 2036 to 2065.

The research team calculated the projected increase in cardiovascular deaths linked to extreme heat by contrasting the expected death count for each U.S. county without extreme heat events against the surplus deaths that would happen if the predicted number of extreme heat days were to occur.

For their baseline analysis, the researchers used county-by-county data in the U.S. spanning 2008 to 2019, specifically zeroing in on deaths that occurred during the summer and were primarily caused by cardiovascular issues.

Siphosethu Fanti/ – – illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

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