How heat waves are intensifying heart health risks

New Delhi: Rising temperatures are increasing the risk of heart health, contributing to a surge in chances of death from cardiovascular diseases, said experts on World Environment Day on Wednesday.

World Environment Day is observed every year on June 5 to raise awareness about climate change and its effects, both on the flora and fauna, as well as human health. The theme this year is “Land restoration, desertification, and drought resilience”.

The risk of death due to cardiovascular diseases rises with every 1-degree Celsius increase in temperature. Studies indicate that approximately 489,000 heat-related deaths occurred annually between 2000 and 2019, with 45 per cent of these deaths taking place in Asia.

Recent data from the Health Ministry on heat-related illnesses and deaths in India, reported 605 deaths due to different cardiovascular diseases in May this year.

There were at least 80 deaths due to heat strokes, including both confirmed and suspected cases, in May. In addition, 56 confirmed deaths occurred due to heat strokes between March and May, of which 46 occurred in May alone.

“The human body is adept at regulating its internal temperature through mechanisms such as sweating and increased blood flow to the skin. However, during extreme heat, this thermoregulatory system can become overwhelmed. As the body struggles to cool itself, the heart has to work harder to pump blood, which increases strain and elevates blood pressure,” Dr RR Dutta, HOPD, Internal Medicine, Paras Health, Gurugram.

“This stress can trigger a cascade of adverse events, ranging from dizziness and nausea to severe complications including heart attack, stroke, and even sudden death,” he added.

The expert noted that the burden of these heat-related cardiovascular risks falls disproportionately on vulnerable communities. Elderly people, those with pre-existing heart conditions, and low-income populations are at high risk.

Limited access to air conditioning, inadequate hydration due to economic constraints, and social isolation can exacerbate the dangers of heat waves for these groups, leading to a higher incidence of heat-related illnesses and deaths.

Dr Dutta stressed the need for building more sustainable and heat-resistant infrastructure is also essential for long-term protection.

A recent study by researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology-Bhubaneswar showed that urbanisation alone is responsible for 60 per cent of the warming trend in Indian cities.

Despite accounting for only about 1 per cent of the land, cities house more than half of the world’s inhabitants, revealed the findings, published in Nature journal.

“Heat waves are caused mostly by climate change and weather patterns disruptions,” Hisham Mundol, Chief Advisor, Environmental Defense Fund, India, told IANS.

Moreover, the urban heat island effect — where reduced vegetation, increased concretisation, and concentrations raise temperatures, increases the risk.

Hisham noted that mitigation is both possible and is urgently required. It requires both reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing forest cover.

Dr Dutta emphasised the need for proper hydration, staying indoors during peak heat hours, and wearing loose, breathable clothing.



SGPGI doctors in Lucknow perform world’s first robotic surgery

Lucknow: Doctors at Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS) here have performed the world's first robotic surgery to treat a rare case of pelvic lipomatosis, an official said....

Ola CEO calls for 70 hours work week, doctor warns of diseases, premature death risk

New Delhi: After Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal backed Infosys founder Narayana Murthy's 70-hour work-week advice, a top neurologist on Friday warned that it could increase the risk of several serious...

Tripura HIV cases are tip of the iceberg: Experts

New Delhi: Even as the Government of Tripura issued a clarification on misleading reports of HIV cases in the state, health experts on Wednesday said that it “is just the...

In a first, woman IRS officer turns man

Hyderabad: A woman Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer, serving as the Joint Commissioner in the regional bench of Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT), Hyderabad, has turned a...

Dengue can seriously affect your brain, nervous system: Doctors

New Delhi: Although dengue is known to cause mild flu-like symptoms, the mosquito-borne viral illness has profound neurological implications that are often overlooked, said experts on Tuesday. Amid the monsoon...

‘With just 20 health workers per 10K people, strain on healthcare is immense’

New Delhi: With just 20 health workers per 10,000 people, unevenly distributed across regions, the strain on healthcare infrastructure is immense, Dr Shuchin Bajaj, Founder & Director Ujala Cygnus Group...

Facing unexplainable mood disorders? You may be low on Vitamin B 12: Doctors

New Delhi: Vitamin B-12 plays a key role in producing brain chemicals that affect mood and other brain functions, said doctors on Saturday. Vitamin B-12 (also known as cobalamin) plays...

Developing countries in Asia-Pacific still report high TB cases: ADB

Manila: Many developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including the Philippines, still have a high tuberculosis (TB) incidence rate, according to an article published in the Asian Development Blog of...

This symptomless herpes virus can harm newborns, organ transplant & HIV patients

New Delhi: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common and symptomless herpes virus that can cause serious harm to newborn babies and people with impaired immune systems like organ transplant and HIV...

Surging dengue cases in K’taka: BJP urges Cong govt to declare medical emergency

Bengaluru: The BJP in Karnataka has demanded that the Congress government declare a medical emergency over the rising dengue cases in the state. Addressing a joint press conference at the...

Ultra-processed food ads misleading; fuelling obesity & diabetes in India: Report

New Delhi: Advertisements of unhealthy food products with high salt (HFSS) food products, or ultra-processed food (UPF) are misleading and are "seductive, luring, manipulative or deceptive" people to buy and...

UP doctors remove 5.5 kg tumour from woman’s kidney

Lucknow: Doctors at Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences (RMLIMS) in Lucknow have successfully removed a 5.5 kg tumour from a patient's kidney, they said. According to reports, it...

Read Previous

Musk says will ensure ‘porn-free’ mode on X platform

Read Next

India to benefit as global oil prices decline by over $4 a barrel

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By :