Heat waves can kill humans around 27 different pathways

Heat kills people at least 27 ways

Heat waves can kill a human being

A new study shows that heat waves can kill a human being around 27 different physiological pathways in which everyone is at risk.

More than 70,000 people died to the extreme heat of the 2003 European heatwave, more than 10,000 people to the 2010 Russian heatwave, and more than 2,000 to the 2015 India heatwave. Altogether more than 800 cases of deadly heatwaves documented worldwide since 1980.

The effects of the deadly heat can not measured in human lives, but in the numbers of people imprisoned indoors. In the last two years, millions of Americans told to stay indoors in cool places to avoid dangerous heat outdoors. However, some recent studies say these deadly heatwaves projected to worsen even with aggressive mitigation of greenhouse gases.

The significance of this deadly heat will depend on the sensitivity of the human body to heat.

Source: University of Hawaii

“We know of many case examples when people have died as a result of heatwaves,” says Camilo Mora, associate professor of geography in the College of Social Sciences at UH Mānoa.

Heat kills people at least 27 ways

Researchers carried out a systematic review of medical literature into the known ways in which heat kills people. They identified five physiological mechanisms with impacts on seven vital organs. Generally, there are at least 27 ways in which things can go wrong during a heatwave.

“Dying during a heatwave is like a terror movie with 27 bad endings to choose from,” says Mora. “It is remarkable that humanity overall is taking such a complacency on the threats that ongoing climate change is posing.”

The study suggests that all heat damaging mechanisms can be triggered any time heat conditions experienced, suggesting that anyone is at risk, with much greater risk for people with physical deficiencies or who cannot afford life saving tools, such as air conditioning.

According to researchers, in the last decade more than 2,300 percent increase in the loss of human life from heatwaves. According to results, approximately less than 1°C warming with 27 ways die from extreme heat.

More information: [Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes]