Extreme heat has been associated with a greater risk of adverse cardiovascular incidents, particularly for adults with pre-existing cardiovascular diseases. It has previously been shown to pose a threat to health by increasing the risk of morbidity and mortality.
Researchers have referred to the 70,000 deaths attributed to the European heatwave in 2003 and 55,000 deaths attributed to the 2010 Russian heatwave. Risk factors that were noted for heat-related hospitalization included age, chronic illness, medications, social isolation, and lack of access to air conditioning. Poor heart health is often identified as a risk factor among chronic conditions from heat-related hospitalization and death.
The authors of the study noted a consistent association between extreme heat and a greater risk of adverse cardiovascular health outcomes. Through examinations of systematic reviews and meta-analyses, they considered the effect of extreme heat and adverse cardiovascular outcomes. They concluded the heat waves significantly increase the risk of death from ischemic heart disease, heart failure, and stroke.
Events Occur Without Heatstroke
Dr. Gagnon, lead author of the study, explained, “Although the effects of extreme heat on adverse cardiovascular events have been explained in the context of heatstroke, many events occur without heatstroke, and the mechanisms of these events in the absence of heatstroke remained unclear. It is likely that heat exposure increases myocardial oxygen needs.”
After the conclusion of the study, the authors proposed some healthy heart tips and heatwave safety precautions. These precautions include paying attention to early heat warnings, identifying the signs of heat stress, ensuring people drink adequate amounts of cold fluid, and seeking an air-conditioned environment.