Thursday, February 17, 2011

Health Impacts of Climate Change in China

Geographic distribution of Japanese encephalit...

Climate Change and Human Health in China (2 page pdf, Environ Health Perspect, Feb.1, 2011)

Today’s review article looks at the health impacts from climate change in the world’s most populous country. It notes that the link between air pollution and heat waves accelerates health impacts, but that this may be reduced though adaptation to extreme events.

Key Quotes:

“Evidence is mounting that climate change has already affected human health directly and indirectly in China, including mortality from extreme weather events, changes in air and water quality, and changes in the ecology of infectious diseases”

Heat waves and other extreme weather conditions have been associated with increased death risk in large Chinese cities, such as Beijing and Shanghai. Elevated mortality during temperature extremes has been attributed mainly to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, especially among the elderly”

“The health impacts of high temperatures and severe air pollution may interact and are thus worthy of attention, because outdoor air pollution is one of the major environmental challenges for public health in Chinese cities”

“Climate change can also affect climate-sensitive infectious diseases carried by animal hosts or vectors; in China, these include schistosomiasis, Japanese encephalitis, Dengue fever, malaria, and Angiostrongylus cantonensis infection”
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