Climate and human health: issue are getting worse

Climate change puts human health at risk, through certain and different factors, which are increasing the risk factors

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Climate and human health: issue are getting worse

Climate change puts human health at risk, through certain and different factors, which are increasing the risk factors. The increasingly warmest summers, drought, extreme events are causing imbalances in our bodies, putting our health at risk.

The study Climate and human health: a review of publication trends in the International Journal of Biometeorology, published in the International journal of biometeorology, does a retrospective on this issue that we have been carrying with us for many years now.

Climate and human health: issue are getting worse

The researchers explain: "The climate-health nexus is well documented in the field of biometeorology. Since its inception, Biometeorology has in many ways become the umbrella under which much of this collaborative research has been conducted.

Whilst a range of review papers have considered the development of biometeorological research and its coverage in this journal, and a few have reviewed the literature on specific diseases, none have focused on the sub-field of climate and health as a whole.

Since its first issue in 1957, the International Journal of Biometeorology has published a total of 2183 papers that broadly consider human health and its relationship with climate. In this review, we identify a total of 180 (8.3%, n = 2183) of these papers that specifically focus on the intersection between meteorological variables and specific, named diagnosable diseases, and explore the publication trends thereof.

Of the 180 studies conducted, respiratory diseases accounted for 37.2% of the publications, cardiovascular disease 17%, and cerebrovascular disease 11.1%. The literature on climate and health in the journal is dominated by studies from the global North, with a particular focus on Asia and Europe.

Only 2.2% and 8.3% of these studies explore empirical evidence from the African continent and South America respectively. These findings highlight the importance of continued research on climate and human health, especially in low- and lower-middle-income countries, the populations of which are more vulnerable to climate-sensitive illnesses.

A significant increase in human health papers has been published in the last decade in the International Journal of Biometeorology. Over the full period of publication of the journal, studies dedicated to the intersection between specific, diagnosable diseases and meteorological variables account for only 4.1% of the 4350 works of the journal to date.

Although the criteria for this review were specific, the 180 papers analysed are an indication that the International Journal of Biometeorology has indeed stuck to its scope in documenting such studies. Researchers in Europe and Asia have done an excellent job in documenting their studies in the journal since its inception, contributing a combined 77.8% to the total 180 studies.

It is important to have more studies explore the extent to which diseases are climate sensitive."