Preventing cold-related morbidity and mortality in a changing climate

Kathryn C. Conlon, Nicholas B. Rajkovich, Jalonne L. White-Newsome, Larissa Larsen, Marie S. O'Neill

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

74 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Winter weather patterns are anticipated to become more variable with increasing average global temperatures. Research shows that excess morbidity and mortality occurs during cold weather periods. We critically reviewed evidence relating temperature variability, health outcomes, and adaptation strategies to cold weather. Health outcomes included cardiovascular-, respiratory-, cerebrovascular-, and all-cause morbidity and mortality. Individual and contextual risk factors were assessed to highlight associations between individual- and neighborhood-level characteristics that contribute to a person's vulnerability to variability in cold weather events. Epidemiologic studies indicate that the populations most vulnerable to variations in cold winter weather are the elderly, rural and, generally, populations living in moderate winter climates. Fortunately, cold-related morbidity and mortality are preventable and strategies exist for protecting populations from these adverse health outcomes. We present a range of adaptation strategies that can be implemented at the individual, building, and neighborhood level to protect vulnerable populations from cold-related morbidity and mortality. The existing research justifies the need for increased outreach to individuals and communities for education on protective adaptations in cold weather. We propose that future climate change adaptation research couple building energy and thermal comfort models with epidemiological data to evaluate and quantify the impacts of adaptation strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-202
Number of pages6
JournalMaturitas
Volume69
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Climate
Weather
Health
Morbidity
Mortality
Thermal comfort
Climate change
Vulnerable Populations
Education
Research
Temperature
Climate Change
Rural Population
Epidemiologic Studies
Hot Temperature
Population

Keywords

  • Adaptation
  • Cold weather
  • Health effects
  • Temperature
  • Vulnerability
  • Winter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

Cite this

Conlon, K. C., Rajkovich, N. B., White-Newsome, J. L., Larsen, L., & O'Neill, M. S. (2011). Preventing cold-related morbidity and mortality in a changing climate. Maturitas, 69(3), 197-202. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.maturitas.2011.04.004

Preventing cold-related morbidity and mortality in a changing climate. / Conlon, Kathryn C.; Rajkovich, Nicholas B.; White-Newsome, Jalonne L.; Larsen, Larissa; O'Neill, Marie S.

In: Maturitas, Vol. 69, No. 3, 01.07.2011, p. 197-202.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Conlon, KC, Rajkovich, NB, White-Newsome, JL, Larsen, L & O'Neill, MS 2011, 'Preventing cold-related morbidity and mortality in a changing climate', Maturitas, vol. 69, no. 3, pp. 197-202. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.maturitas.2011.04.004
Conlon, Kathryn C. ; Rajkovich, Nicholas B. ; White-Newsome, Jalonne L. ; Larsen, Larissa ; O'Neill, Marie S. / Preventing cold-related morbidity and mortality in a changing climate. In: Maturitas. 2011 ; Vol. 69, No. 3. pp. 197-202.
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