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Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Summer temperature variability may increase mortality risk for elderly with chronic disease

New research from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) suggests that seemingly small changes in summer temperature swings -- as little as 1°C more than usual -- may shorten life expectancy for elderly people with chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart failure, chronic lung disease, or those who have survived a previous heart attack. and could result in thousands of additional deaths each year. While previous studies have focused on the short-term effects of heat waves, this is the first study to examine the longer-term effects of climate change on life expectancy.

Antonella Zanobetti, senior research scientist in the Department of Environmental Health at HSPH and lead author of the study makes the point that "The effect of temperature patterns on long-term mortality has not been clear to this point. We found that, independent of heat waves, high day to day variability in summer temperatures shortens life expectancy, this variability can be harmful for susceptible people."

 Read more in ScienceDaily: Summer temperature variability may increase mortality risk for elderly with chronic disease

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