A study says that warmer temperatures are related to the increase in deaths from injuries in the US.


Using data from the National Center for Health Statistics, researchers studied mortality rates in the contiguous United States over a period of 38 years from 1980 to 2017 to determine if there was a connection between abnormal temperatures and mortality. Abnormal temperatures were defined as deviations from the monthly temperature of the local average at a given location.

They wanted to know if unusual temperatures, such as extreme heat, impacted unintentional deaths from transport accidents, falls and drowning, and intentional deaths from assaults and suicides.

"Our goal was to assess how deaths from various injuries in the US could be affected by abnormally warm temperatures that occur today and are expected to be increasingly common as a result of global climate change," the authors said in the study. .

From 1980 to 2017, more than 4.1 million boys and men and more than 1.8 million girls and women died from an injury in the contiguous United States, representing 9.3% and 4.2% of all deaths of men and women , respectively, during that period of time. More than 95% of deaths from male injuries and 94% of deaths from female injuries occurred in people aged 15 or older, and more than half of deaths from male injuries occurred in people between 15 and 44 years old, he found the study.

"Transport injuries, falls, drowning, assaults and suicides accounted for 78.6% of deaths from injuries in men and 71.8% in women," the study found, and the rest of the deaths were attributed to "other injuries." .

The researchers found that temperature abnormalities were higher in December and January and smaller in August and September. The irregularities were also greater in the northern and central states than in the southern and coastal regions.

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According to the analysis of mortality rates, the researchers estimated 1,601 deaths more related to injuries in a year when the temperature of each month was 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than its long-term average. They predicted there would be 2,135 more deaths from injuries if temperatures rise to 3.6 degrees more than the monthly long-term average.

Deaths related to transport. increased more in those scenarios, followed by suicides. Among the deaths from additional injuries, 84% corresponded to men and 16% to women.

In warmer climates, driving performance deteriorates, alcohol consumption increases and more traffic, along with more people outside, increases the risk of fatal collisions, according to the study.

The researchers also predicted an increase in drowning deaths, postulating that the higher the temperature, the more likely people will go swimming.

"Our work highlights how deaths from injuries, including assaults, suicides, transportation and drowning deaths, currently increase with warm temperatures, and could also worsen by rising temperatures as a result of climate change, unless counteracted by the infrastructure of the social and health system that mitigates these impacts. " The study's lead author, Robbie Parks, of the Columbia Institute of Earth, said in a statement.

The study concluded that injuries and deaths with warmer temperatures related to climate change are likely to increase and that local governments, health systems and first responders must be prepared to deal with it.