Climate Change and Human Health


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Presentation from a Cary Institute of Ecosystems Studies public forum on climate change by Perry Sheffield, Professor of Pediatrics and Preventative Medicine, Mount Sinai

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Climate Change and Human Health

  1. 1. Human Health under a Changing Climate Perry Sheffield, MD, MPHAssistant Professor, Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine Mount Sinai S h l of M di i M t Si i School f MedicineCary Institute forum on “Climate Change in the Hudson Valley: Preparing at the Local Level” Level October 22, 2011
  2. 2. Health Effects of Climate Change - Direct Climate Impacts Direct Health Effects More intense and Heat stress, frequent Heat Waves cardiovascular disease Stagnant Air Masses, Asthma, respiratory Air Pollution illness, cardiovascular , disease More Frequent Heavy Drowning, direct injury Rainfall Events Slide text from G. Luber, CDC.
  3. 3. Health Effects of Climate Change - Indirect Climate Impacts Indirect Health Effects Effects on key Impacts on vector-borne and vector borne ecosystem parameters zoonotic disease Heavy precipitation Water-borne diseases, events will become harmful algal blooms, more frequent q Increase in areas Changes in food sources, affected by drought malnutrition, forced migration Slide text from G. Luber, CDC.
  4. 4. Heat Waves and Public Health• Heat wave or extreme heat events – Period of very hot and humid weather that can make people very sick and even lead to death p p y• Scientists project that NYC could have 40 to 89 days annually with 90 degree heat – or hotter y y g• NYC August 2006: 40 heat stroke deaths and 100 more deaths than expected Slide text from Nathan Graber, NYC DOH
  5. 5. Ground-level ozone (O3) from Queensland Government EPA,
  6. 6. Change in O3-related asthma emergency department visits for children (0–17 years) in 2020s vs 1990s Sheffield et al, AJPM 2011.
  7. 7. Climate, Pollen , and Asthma: possible mechanismsFrom: Beggs and Bambrick, EHP 2005
  8. 8. West Nile virus in mosquitoes, New York State, 2008 NYSERDA ClimAID team, 2010.
  9. 9. Vulnerability factors – extreme heat example1. Underlying medical conditions • Heart d lung di H t and l diseases, e.g.2. Demographics • Race, age, education R d ti3. Housing • Top floor apartments, air conditioning4. Community geography • Heat island, vegetation density O’Neill & Ebi, JOEM 2009
  10. 10. Survey of local health departments in NYS Carr et al, JPHMP In press.
  11. 11. Heat adaptation efforts• Policy: Emergency plan, weather service alerts• Surveillance S ill• Structural interventions: cooling centers, A/C’s• Education/outreach
  12. 12. Take-Home Messages g Health effects from heat, air pollution, and pollen and other risks are more challenging to address as climate changes in the U.S. Along with climate change, vulnerability factors change will be key in determining health impacts More surveillance systems are needed to track key climate-health indicators Adaptation planning can begin now with currently available information