Climate change a global threat to cardiopulmonary health

Mary B. Rice, George D. Thurston, John R. Balmes, Kent E Pinkerton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent changes in the global climate system have resulted in excess mortality and morbidity, particularly among susceptible individuals with preexisting cardiopulmonary disease. These weather patterns are projected to continue and intensify as a result of rising CO2 levels, according to the most recent projections by climate scientists. In this Pulmonary Perspective, motivated by the American Thoracic Society Committees on Environmental Health Policy and InternationalHealth, we review the global human health consequences of projected changes in climate for which there is a high level of confidence and scientific evidence of health effects, with a focus on cardiopulmonary health. We discuss how many of the climate-related health effects will disproportionally affect people from economically disadvantaged parts of the world, who contribute relatively little to CO2 emissions. Last, we discuss the financial implications of climate change solutions from a public health perspective and argue for a harmonized approach to clean air and climate change policies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)512-519
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Volume189
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2014

Keywords

  • Air pollution
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Climate change
  • Pulmonary health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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