World Medical News

Heatwaves Exacerbating Childhood Asthma Hospitalizations

Concerning new research suggests that severe heatwaves are leading to increased hospitalizations for children with asthma, New Scientist reported yesterday.

Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) analyzed electronic health data from UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals, along with temperature records, to evaluate the link between hot weather and asthma-related hospital visits.

The study, presented this week at the American Thoracic Society conference, examined asthma hospitalization data from 2017 to 2020.

The researchers defined heatwaves in multiple ways, looking at temperature thresholds ranging from the top 99% to the top 95% of recorded temperatures. Across all heatwave definitions, the results showed a 19% average increase in the odds of a child with asthma being admitted to the hospital during these hot weather periods compared to non-heatwave times.

According to lead researcher Morgan Ye, the findings suggest that rising global temperatures driven by climate change will likely exacerbate this troubling trend. “As we continue to see global temperatures rise due to human-generated climate change, we can expect a rise in health-related issues as we observe longer, more frequent and severe heatwaves,” Ye stated.

Experts note that extreme heat can contribute to increased ozone and air pollution, which may directly aggravate asthma symptoms and lead to more hospitalizations, especially among the vulnerable pediatric population. With heatwaves expected to worsen, addressing this climate-health connection is crucial for protecting children’s respiratory health.

Related Articles

Back to top button