Both heat and cold increase the risk of death in England and Wales — but rates vary by geographic location, according to a new study.
New risk assessments suggest London And other cities had the highest rates of heat-related deaths.
Although cold-related deaths were highest in northern England, Wales and the south-west.
The researchers say the findings indicate that the effects of heat and cold were stronger in poorer areas.
They argue that understanding these patterns is important when it comes to designing public health policies to protect vulnerable groups.
Every year in England and Wales, an average of 800 excess deaths were heat-related – and more than 60,500 were cold-related between 2000 and 2019, the study found.
The study was led by researchers from the Center for Climate Change and Planetary Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), in collaboration with the UK Health Safety Agency and researchers from several European universities.
London had the highest heat-related death rate, with 3.21 excess deaths per 100,000 people, which equates to 170 excess heat-related deaths each year.
The risk of cold-related death was highest in the North East of England and Wales, with an excess death rate of 140.45 and 136.95 deaths per 100,000 people, respectively.
The study found that London had the lowest risk associated with cold temperatures, with 113.97 deaths per 100,000 people (almost 5,800 excess cold-related deaths each year).
Dr Antonio Gasparini, Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at LSHTM and lead author of the study, said: “This study provides a thorough assessment of the health impact of heat and cold in England and Wales and provides several epidemiological indicators for over 37,000 areas. in two countries.
“This includes estimates of optimal temperature ranges as well as measures of exposure such as excess heat and cold mortality.
“Detailed health burden mapping can help identify high-risk areas and population subgroups.
“In particular, the results showed that the effects of heat and cold were stronger in more vulnerable areas.
“Understanding these patterns is a critical step in developing effective public health policies at local and national levels and protecting vulnerable groups, especially during the current cost-of-living crisis.”
The findings showed that exposure to cold and to a lesser extent heat was more common in vulnerable areas.
In addition, older people were the most vulnerable to heat and cold, with people over 85 having twice the risk of dying compared to people aged zero to 64.
Researchers are calling for targeted policies and better adaptation strategies to prevent more severe health consequences from both heat and cold.
In the study, they analyzed 10.7 million deaths that occurred in England and Wales between 2000 and 2019 in more than 37,473 small areas covering around 1,600 residents.
Dr Pierre Masselot, Researcher in Environmental Epidemiology and Statistics at LSHTM and co-author of the study, said: “The results come at a critical time when countries and communities are facing increasing health impacts from climate change and need to find effective ways to respond. Will adapt to changing temperatures.
“The analytical framework also provides a flexible tool that can be adapted for future studies aimed at modeling temperature-related risks and impacts under different small-scale climate change scenarios.”
The authors emphasize that although the study showed that excess deaths related to cold are significantly higher than heat, these results should be interpreted with caution, because more cold than hot days were observed throughout the year.
financed Medical Research Council and the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, the findings are published in The Lancet Planetary Health.
Heat and cold ‘increase risk of death but rates vary across England and Wales’
Source link Heat and cold ‘increase risk of death but rates vary across England and Wales’