Climate Change’s Deadly Impact: Rising Stroke Deaths Tied to Temperature Shifts, Study Reveals

By Rishi Apr 12, 2024 #weather #weather today

A recent analysis of global data spanning three decades has uncovered a concerning trend: deaths and disabilities resulting from stroke are increasingly being linked to temperature changes driven by climate change.

According to a study published in the journal Neurology, in 2019 alone, there were over 520,000 stroke deaths associated with non-optimal temperatures. Surprisingly, while the majority of these deaths (over 470,000) were attributed to lower-than-optimal temperatures, there was also a notable increase in the number of deaths linked to higher-than-optimal temperatures compared to 1990. The study emphasized that optimal temperatures were associated with the lowest death rates.

Researchers noted a rapid rise in the burden of stroke related to high temperatures, especially among individuals aged over 70, with a disproportionate impact seen in regions with lower Socio-demographic Index (SDI) like Africa.

In India, nearly 33,000 stroke deaths were linked to non-optimal temperatures. Interestingly, around 55% of these deaths (approximately 18,000) were due to higher-than-optimal temperatures, while 45% (roughly 15,000) were linked to lower-than-optimal temperatures.

Study author Quan Cheng from Xiangya Hospital Central South University highlighted the significant health impacts of dramatic temperature changes in recent years, underscoring the need for urgent action.

The researchers also identified aging as a key factor contributing to the increased burden of stroke related to temperature changes. They observed higher death rates among men compared to women, with Central Asia reporting the highest death rate for stroke associated with non-optimal temperatures.

Recognizing the urgency of the situation, the team emphasized the need for further research to better understand how temperature fluctuations affect stroke incidence and to develop targeted solutions to address health disparities.

Cheng stressed the importance of implementing effective health policies to mitigate the impact of climate change, including addressing underlying causes such as fossil fuel consumption, deforestation, and industrial processes.

To conduct their analysis, the researchers utilized datasets from various sources, including the Climate Research Unit Gridded Time Series, the World Bank, and the Global Burden of Diseases study, to assess the global spread of stroke burden across 204 countries and territories.

By Rishi

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