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Four surprising ways climate change is affecting peoples’ health in England, Wales and elsewhere
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Four surprising ways climate change is affecting peoples’ health in England, Wales and elsewhere

A digital thermometer displays 38°C in front of a row of terraced houses.


Temperature-related deaths in England and Wales are declining when you remove age from the equation. That’s according to the Recent figuresFrom the Office for National Statistics. However, hospitalizations are up 20 percent over the past 20 years.

It turns out, that’s not the only surprise in this new report. Here’s how else climate change is affecting health in Britain.

1. Heatwaves are increasing the number of deaths.

The study reported the number of climate-related deaths per 100,000 for each age group. This effectively concealed the influence of age and made it easier to compare factors like temperature over time.

Look at the Excessive mortality rate instead tells us how deaths linked to a certain cause – such as heart disease or road traffic accidents – have increased compared with the average death rate over the last five years. This measure shows that excess deathsSince 2001, the number of deaths from all causes has increased in Britain due to heatwaves, particularly among those over 65.

A digital thermometer displays 38°C in front of a row of terraced houses.
Temperatures broke 38.7°C in July 2019 in England.
DRG Photography/Shutterstock

Despite this, the current weighted death rate may be lower than it was 20 years ago. Living conditionsAnd an Increase in life expectancyLearn more.

2. Hot and cold days can lead to increased respiratory deaths

According to the ONS report, deaths from respiratory diseases have increased both on cold and warm days since 2001.

One reason could be that these weather conditions are often associated more with high levels of air pollution. Wood-burning stoves, which are used in colder climates by many homes, are now a greater source of air pollution. Fine particulate Pollution(38%) More than the road traffic in the UK.

Periods of stabilityClear skies and lots of sunlight can be a sign of a favorable atmosphere. Heatwaves. The air pressure systems that create this pollution allow for it to build up overhead as well. Nevertheless, trapped – exacerbating respiratory illnesses.

3. On hot days, drowning can be a leading cause for death

Between 2001 and 2020 more people drowned in hot weather than in heat stroke. There were 22 additional. drowning deaths during hot weatherIn summer 2020, it was lower than in 2001 in England and Wales. Despite a decline in the overall death rate Since 2001, annually from drowningThere has been an uptick in the number of people who are employed since 2019.

Many of these cases could involve people who jumped into rivers or the sea to escape heat. It can be dangerous to jump into cold water when your body heats up. go into shockYou can drown by drowning Leading cause of accidental deathIn the UK. Recreational swimming has been responsible for more deaths than flooding in the past 20 years.

Wild swimming may be on the rise.
These should prompt people to seek out more information about beaches and rivers. Be aware of the risks.

Two people bathe in a river out of focus.
Wild swimming can be pleasant in hot weather – so long as bathers are careful.
Lois GoBe/Shutterstock

4. Hospital admissions are increasing due to the warmer weather

The UK has become milder over the past 20 year, and the number of patients admitted to hospital during cold weather has declined in the last 20 years. Despite winter months being the busiest months for hospitals, this is not surprising. For the past ten years, however, the average number of people admitted for heat stroke or other conditions related to high temperatures has increased by 12,086 per year.

In 2018, there were 2,325 more people admitted to mental health treatment in the four warmest months of the year (June-July, August, and September) than when records began in England in 2010. Heatwaves are more common than normal. Mental illness can get worseOur bodies produce more cortisol in extreme heat, which is why this finding is important. However, this is not enough evidence to suggest an increase of mental health treatment hospitalisations since 2010.

DehydrationHospital admissions were the leading cause of dehydration-related deaths in England up to 2018. Around 800 more people were admitted to hospitals in England due to dehydration in 2018 than a decade ago. The report doesn’t show any increase in the number of people admitted to hospital for dehydration since 2010.

The climate change will have a greater impact on human health. All regions of the globeIn the future. This report suggests that the health consequences of Britain’s climate warming have been relatively mild so far. However, this is not a reason to be complacent.

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