Does global warming endanger cardiovascular health in animal models?

A recent study shared a an in-depth retrospective on the topic

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Does global warming endanger cardiovascular health in animal models?
© Jonathan Wood / Stringer Getty Images

A recent study, entitled: Unraveling the impacts of climatic heat events on cardiovascular health in animal models, and published on the Environmental research, tried to shed light on this topic with an in-depth retrospective.

Global Warming
Global Warming© Christopher Furlong / Staff Getty Images

Below we present the most interesting parts of the study:

"Climate change has led to an increase in high ambient temperatures, causing extreme heat events around the world. According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), July 2023 marked a historic milestone as the Earth reached its warmest temperature ever recorded, reaching precisely the critical threshold of 1.5°C set by the Paris Agreement. This worrying development has led to a stark warning from the United Nations, signaling the dawn of what they call an era of global boiling.

Rising global temperatures can cause high thermal stress leading to various physiological and biochemical alterations in the human body. Given that cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality globally, heat events exacerbate this public health problem.

While clinical and in vitro studies have suggested a number of pathophysiological and biochemical mechanisms underlying the body's response to heat stress, the complex nature of interactions at the organ-system level makes precise investigation difficult. To effectively fill this knowledge gap, the use of animal models exposed to acute or chronic heat stress may be valuable.

These models can closely replicate the multifaceted effects observed in humans during heat stress conditions. Despite extensive independent reviews, attention has been limited to high heat-induced cardiovascular complications and their mechanisms, particularly using animal models. Therefore, in this comprehensive review, we highlight crucial biomarkers altered during heat stress, which significantly contribute to various cardiovascular diseases.

We explore the potential mechanisms underlying heat-induced cardiovascular dysfunction and damage by delving into various animal models. While traditional rodent models are commonly used, we also examine less conventional models, including ruminants, broilers, canids, and primates.

Additionally, we delve into various potential therapeutic approaches and preventative measures. These insights hold significant promise for the development of more effective clinical interventions against the effects of heat stress on the human cardiovascular system."