The not so hidden effects of climate change related heatwaves on the cardiovascular system

Geraldine Lee, Jeroen Hendriks

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial


Over the past year, we have witnessed catastrophic events relating to climate change across the globe including heatwaves, drought, floods and cyclones. The World Health Organization estimates that 24% of all deaths globally can be attributed to environmental causes. The year 2022 saw the highest rates of deaths from the heat in Italy, Greece, Spain and Portugal (60,000 deaths) and this summer in the Northern Hemisphere, July was the hottest month ever recorded with unprecedented heatwaves [2]. In 2023, in Europe and Japan, sustained daily temperatures above 40 °C have been recorded and Sicily reached 47 °C while Arizona in the U.S. recorded 31 days consecutively above 43 °C. Usually summer is associated with warmer weather, sunshine and holidays but these above normal temperatures have highlighted the fatal consequences in those with established cardiovascular disease (CVD) as well as in those previously seen as ‘fit and healthy.’ Some of the deaths were in those over 40 years, working outdoors in high temperatures and deaths of older people were reported in their homes where the temperatures were raised with poor/no air-conditioning and in one case, one fatality recorded hyperthermia with a body temperature of 42 °C...
Original languageEnglish
Article number101374
Number of pages2
JournalInternational Emergency Nursing
Early online date25 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


  • Climate change
  • Heatwaves
  • Health effects
  • Cardiovascular disease


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