Climate change makes a host of health problems more common and more serious, according to a review.
The researchers looked at 364 studies dating from 1990.
They saw rising global temperatures and increasingly severe weather patterns have increased ande risk of stroke, dementia and multiple sclerosis.
But it’s not just chronic illnesses, more benign conditions like headaches have also become more common, according to the study.
Previous research shows that longer summers and warmer temperatures put increased stress on the heart.
The body has to work harder to stay cool and pump blood to different organs.
And evidence shows that when pollution is inhaled, it also seeps into the bloodstream.
This chronic stress on the body increases the risk of brain disorders and neurological diseases.
Since 1981, global temperatures have increased by 0.32°F per decade.
The study’s lead author, Dr Andrew Dhawan, of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, said: “Climate change poses many challenges to humanity, some of which are not well studied.”
He added: “As we witness the effects of global warming on human health, it is imperative that neurologists anticipate the evolution of neurological diseases.”
Headaches are just one of the health risks made worse by global warming, researchers at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio have found.
The wildfires, which for years have mainly affected the West Coast, have burned more than 7 million acres of land. They also belched toxic smoke all the way to New York City, deteriorating air quality and endangering people’s health.
The left shows the number of wildfires from 1984 to 1999, and the right shows the number from 2005 to 2018 – recent years have seen an increase in wildfires
When exposed to warmer climates, your body becomes dehydrated as it needs more water to make up for what is lost through sweating.
Even mild dehydration can trigger headaches and migraines.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, the brain shrinks when dehydrated, pulling it away from the skull and putting pressure on nerves, causing pain.
One study found that a higher average temperature the day before arrival at the hospital increased headaches by 7.5%.
The researchers selected 364 studies on adults published between 1990 and 2022 – which looked at the link between health conditions and changes in temperature, extreme weather events and air pollution.
America’s growing wildfire crisis could lead to a wave of heart attacks, lung disease and cancer diagnoses years later, scientists warn
The growing wildfire crisis in the United States could trigger a wave of health problems in the coming years, scientists warn.
This year has seen over 60,000 Wildfires are burning more than 7.2 million acres of US land, up from 42,400 and 4.1m in 2013.
Global warming is making forest fires more frequent and destructive. Warmer springs, longer summer dry seasons, and drier soils and vegetation are ideal conditions for a fire.
Recent wildfires on the West Coast have belched huge volumes of smoke that have spread nationwide, blanketing cities across the eastern United States in a toxic haze.
Smoke from wildfires contains tiny toxic particles called PM2.5 – made up of solid and liquid droplets from burnt materials such as vegetation and heavy metals.
PM2.5 is so tiny that it can enter the bloodstream through the lungs and travel to major organs, including the brain.
Keith Bein, Associate Professional Researcher at University of California, Davis Told Pew: It’s happening more frequently every summer… The duration of fires is getting longer. Public exposure to smoke is also increasing. Unique events take place every summer. It’s a different type of exposure.
State public health officials and climate experts are most concerned about small airborne particles, a product of burning vegetation and man-made materials such as cars, roads and houses.
Erin Landguth, associate professor at the University of Montana, said: “We know that hospitalizations for asthma and other respiratory conditions increase within days or weeks after wildfires… The idea that this could potentially have more late and how it can affect our immune system is really scary.’
Extreme weather events and temperature fluctuations were linked to increasingly frequent and intense strokes, more migraines, hospitalization of dementia patients and worsening multiple sclerosis.
Climate change has prolonged warmer conditions favorable to diseases affecting the nervous system, such as meningitis, encephalitis, poliomyelitis.
This means that new populations are at risk from animal and insect-borne diseases like West Nile virus, meningococcal meningitis and tick-borne encephalitis.
The warmer weather has also increased tick and mosquito-borne infections.
The study did not consider why dementia or multiple sclerosis may worsen with climate change.
This could be because older people are generally at greater risk of health problems during the heat, partly due to their age, but also because they tend to live alone and may not drink enough.
Changes in outside temperature can put additional stress on the brain, making it more vulnerable to processes leading to diseases such as dementia.
Multiple sclerosis means nerve signals are slowed down.
Heat can temporarily worsen symptoms by slowing down these signals even more.
If the heat is due to the ever-increasing global temperatures, the symptoms may not improve.
A study of more than three million Medicare patients in New England found that temperature increases of 1.5°C led to a 12% increase in hospital admissions for people with dementia.
Another study of over 22,000 headache visits to the emergency department showed that a 5°C rise in temperature was linked to an increased risk of headaches, especially non-migraine headaches. .
The reasons for these changes were unclear, but the researchers speculated that it could be due to temperature changes, ecosystem collapse, exposure to air pollution and climate change. food insecurity.
Your body perceives temperature changes as stress, which can make you sick.
Air pollutants can enter the bloodstream and make it harder to breathe, as well as worsen lung disease.
More research is needed on ecosystem collapse and food insecurity, the study’s reviewers said.
They also said it could be due to climate change causing more air pollution, which in turn leads to accelerated aging of the brain and arteries.
Global warming facilitates stagnant air through increased heat, which can cause unhealthy levels of pollutants to persist.
Some air pollution particles are so small that they penetrate the skin and can accelerate dark spots, fine lines and wrinkles.
There was no consensus on why climate change might have an effect on strokes, but two studies found that colder temperatures lead to an increase in strokes.
The researchers said this could be because colder temperatures increase blood vessel constrictions, which can cut off blood flow and oxygen to parts of the brain.
Extreme heat can also cause strokes in vulnerable people.
In one study, scientists suggested that in the African ‘meningitis belt’, fine particles blown by harmattan winds intensify the transmission of meningitis.
In the Czech Republic, flooding has been linked to more cases of tick-borne encephalitis.
A limitation of the review was that all of the studies took place in wealthy countries, which means the results are not applicable to poorer regions, where climate change may be more likely.
The results were published in the journal American Academy of Neurology.
A report released on Wednesday showed that extreme weather is on the rise, as 90% of counties in the United States experienced a climate catastrophe between 2011 and 2021.