Heatwave and health impact research: a global review

Sharon Campbell, Tomas A. Remenyi, Christopher J. White, Fay H. Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background
Observed increases in the frequency and intensity of heatwave events, together with the projected acceleration of these events worldwide, has led to a rapid expansion in research on the health impacts of extreme heat.
Objective
To examine how research on heatwaves and their health-related impact is distributed globally.
Methods
A systematic review was undertaken. Four online databases were searched for articles examining links between specific historical heatwave events and their impact on mortality or morbidity. The locations of these events were mapped at a global scale, and compared to other known characteristics that influence heat-related illness and death.
Results
When examining the location of heatwave and health impact research worldwide, studies were concentrated on mid-latitude, high-income countries of low- to medium-population density. Regions projected to experience the most extreme heatwaves in the future were not represented. Furthermore, the majority of studies examined mortality as a key indicator of population-wide impact, rather than the more sensitive indicator of morbidity.
Conclusion
While global heatwave and health impact research is prolific in some regions, the global population most at risk of death and illness from extreme heat is under-represented. Heatwave and health impact research is needed in regions where this impact is expected to be most severe.
LanguageEnglish
Pages210-218
Number of pages9
JournalHealth and Place
Volume53
Early online date4 Sep 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2018

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impact research
health impact
Extreme Heat
Health
heat
health
Research
event
morbidity
illness
mortality
Morbidity
death
Mortality
population density
Population Density
Hot Temperature
heat wave
Databases
income

Keywords

  • heatwave
  • extreme heat
  • mortality
  • morbidity
  • population health

Cite this

Campbell, Sharon ; Remenyi, Tomas A. ; White, Christopher J. ; Johnston, Fay H. / Heatwave and health impact research : a global review. In: Health and Place. 2018 ; Vol. 53. pp. 210-218.
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Heatwave and health impact research : a global review. / Campbell, Sharon; Remenyi, Tomas A.; White, Christopher J.; Johnston, Fay H.

In: Health and Place, Vol. 53, 30.09.2018, p. 210-218.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Remenyi, Tomas A.

AU - White, Christopher J.

AU - Johnston, Fay H.

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AB - BackgroundObserved increases in the frequency and intensity of heatwave events, together with the projected acceleration of these events worldwide, has led to a rapid expansion in research on the health impacts of extreme heat.ObjectiveTo examine how research on heatwaves and their health-related impact is distributed globally.MethodsA systematic review was undertaken. Four online databases were searched for articles examining links between specific historical heatwave events and their impact on mortality or morbidity. The locations of these events were mapped at a global scale, and compared to other known characteristics that influence heat-related illness and death.ResultsWhen examining the location of heatwave and health impact research worldwide, studies were concentrated on mid-latitude, high-income countries of low- to medium-population density. Regions projected to experience the most extreme heatwaves in the future were not represented. Furthermore, the majority of studies examined mortality as a key indicator of population-wide impact, rather than the more sensitive indicator of morbidity.ConclusionWhile global heatwave and health impact research is prolific in some regions, the global population most at risk of death and illness from extreme heat is under-represented. Heatwave and health impact research is needed in regions where this impact is expected to be most severe.

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