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Injury Deaths Predicted to Increase With Anomalously Warm Temperatures

An estimated 1,601 additional injury deaths predicted with 1.5-degree Celsius increase

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 15, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Anomalously warm temperatures may be associated with an increase in injury deaths, according to a research letter published online Jan. 13 in Nature Medicine.

Robbie M. Parks, Ph.D., from Imperial College London, and colleagues used data on mortality and temperature from 1980 to 2017 from the contiguous United States and formulated a spatiotemporal model to quantify the impact of anomalous temperature on deaths from unintentional (transport, falls, and drowning) and intentional (assault and suicide) injuries.

The researchers found that an estimated 1,601 additional injury deaths would be seen in association with a 1.5-degree Celsius anomalously warmer year. Eighty-four percent of these additional deaths would occur in boys and men, mainly in adolescence to middle age. Increases in deaths from drownings, transport, assault, and suicide would be included and would be partly offset by a decrease in deaths from falls in older ages.

“These predictions suggest we should expect to see more deaths from transport accidents, suicides, drownings and violence as temperatures rise,” a coauthor said in a statement. “These new results show how much climate change can affect young people. We need to respond to this threat with better preparedness in terms of emergency services, social support and health warnings.”

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and insurance industries.

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