Friday, March 7, 2014

How Do Temperature Extremes Affect People with Multiple Health Issues?

Extreme ambient temperatures and cardiorespiratory emergency room visits: assessing risk by comorbid health conditions in a time series study(20 page pdf, Eric Lavigne, Antonio Gasparrini, Xiang Wang, Hong Chen, Abderrahmane Yagouti, Manon D Fleury, Sabit Cakmak, Environmental Health, Feb. 3, 2014)

Today we review research that assessed added health risks to patients with serious pre-existing and multiple health issues to temperature extremes. Results indicate that several specific comordid conditions such as respiratory diseases and cancer are especially vulnerable during periods of heat stress, as are kidney disease sufferers during and after periods of extreme cold. In the latter case, the link between colder temperatures and increased blood pressure is considered important. These results are important for public health planers in assessing and coping with impacts of climate change which combine increased extremes, both cold and hot, along with increased periods of heat stress.

 comorbid and cl ch  

Key Quotes:

 “comorbidity describes the effect of all other diseases an individual patient might have other than the primary disease of interest.”

“The aim of this study was to assess if persons with comorbid health conditions were at increased risk of adverse cardiorespiratory morbidity during temperature extremes.”

 “extreme hot and cold temperatures are associated with an increase in daily mortality and morbidity“

“the effects of hot temperatures on emergency room admissions are generally seen within a few days of the hot day while the effects of cold temperatures are more delayed in time.”

“persons with comorbid kidney diseases may be vulnerable to the cumulative short term effect of extreme cold temperatures on cardiovascular disease ER visits”

“subjects with comorbid respiratory disease and cancer were found to have increased risk of respiratory disease emergency room visits during short term extreme hot temperature episodes.”

“Diabetics were found to be particularly vulnerable to extreme heat with increased risk for adverse cardiovascular events.”

“Subjects diagnosed with cancer in the year preceding their admission to the emergency department were found to have an increased risk of respiratory ER visits during an episode of extreme heat.”

“extreme cold temperatures over a two-week period increased the risk of ER visits for cardiovascular diseases among patients with comorbid cardiac diseases.”

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