Nevin Manimala Statistics

Projected Change in the Burden of Excess Cardiovascular Deaths Associated With Extreme Heat by Midcentury (2036-2065) in the Contiguous United States

Circulation. 2023 Oct 30. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.123.066017. Online ahead of print.


Background: Climate change is causing an increase in extreme heat. Individuals with cardiovascular disease are at high risk of heat-related adverse health effects. How the burden of extreme heat-associated cardiovascular deaths in the United States will change with the projected rise in extreme heat is unknown. Methods: We obtained data on cardiovascular deaths among adults and the number of extreme heat days (maximum heat index ≥90 °F [32.2 °C]) in each county in the contiguous United States from 2008 to 2019. Based on representative concentration pathway trajectories that model greenhouse gas emissions and shared socioeconomic pathways (SSP) that model future socioeconomic scenarios and demographic projections, we obtained county-level projected numbers of extreme heat days and populations under 2 scenarios for the midcentury period 2036 to 2065: SSP2-4.5 (representing demographic projections from a “middle-of-the-road” socioeconomic scenario and an intermediate increase in emissions) and SSP5-8.5 (demographic projections in an economy based on “fossil-fueled development” and a large increase in emissions). The association of cardiovascular mortality with extreme heat was estimated with a Poisson fixed-effects model. Using estimates from this model, the projected number of excess cardiovascular deaths associated with extreme heat was calculated. Results: Extreme heat was associated with 1651 (95% CI, 921-2381) excess cardiovascular deaths per year from 2008 to 2019. By midcentury, extreme heat is projected to be associated with 4320 (95% CI, 2369-6272) excess deaths annually, which is an increase of 162% (95% CI, 142-182) under SSP2-4.5, and 5491 (95% CI, 3011-7972) annual excess deaths, which is an increase of 233% (95% CI, 206-259) under SSP5-8.5. Elderly adults are projected to have a 3.5 (95% CI, 3.2- 3.8) times greater increase in deaths in the SSP2-4.5 scenario compared with nonelderly adults. Non-Hispanic Black adults are projected to have a 4.6 (95% CI, 2.8-6.4) times greater increase compared with non-Hispanic White adults. The projected change in deaths was not statistically significantly different for other race and ethnicity groups or between men and women. Conclusions: By midcentury, extreme heat is projected to be associated with a significantly greater burden of excess cardiovascular deaths in the contiguous United States.

PMID:37901952 | DOI:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.123.066017

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