Deaths Tied to Heat Estimated to Increase 257 Percent
According to researchers from the United Kingdom, deaths related to hot weather are projected to increased by 257 percent by the 2050s. The experts from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Public Health England reported that hot weather would affect people from England and Wales with an increase in the number of annual excess deaths due to the hot weather.
For this study, the researchers examined weather patterns from 1993 through to 2006. They used a time-series regression analysis to monitor fluctuations and death rates tied to different temperatures. The researchers also looked at the temperature recordings and mortality rates by regions and age groups.
From these analyses, the team was able to estimate population growth, temperature changes and potential deaths from hot weather for the 2020s, 2050s and 2080s. They used the British Atmospheric Data Center (BADC) and the population growth estimates provided from the Office of National Statistics in order to project the daily average temperatures for 2000-09, 2020-29, 2050-59 and 2080-89.
The researchers reported that the number of days when the temperature will be hot would increase over the next decades. They believe that by 2080s, the number of hot weather days will triple They also found that the number of cold weather days will decrease but at a much slower rate.. The researchers reported that if people have no adaptive measures against the heat in the future, excess deaths due to hot weather could skyrocket by 257 percent during the 2050s. The researchers stated that people aged 85 and over have the greatest risk of death. In terms of regional differences, the researchers found that people from London and the Midlands have the greatest risks.
"As the contribution of population growth and ageing on future temperature related health burdens will be large, the health protection of the elderly will be important," the authors wrote, according to Medical Xpress.
The findings were published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.