São Paulo – As the world’s climate changes, increasing temperatures will have significant implications on people’s physical health.
Scientists from Brazil and Australia have found evidence of a link between rising temperatures and renal diseases.
Heat stress is likely to be responsible for ongoing, costly and damaging health issues unless work is done to mitigate the effects of climate change.
While global warming impacts our world and our lives in many obvious ways, a new study links rising temperatures with renal diseases, such as kidney disease. This public health threat could cost millions.
Published in The Lancet, the study analysed data on hospital patients with renal diseases and increasing temperatures in Brazil from 2000 to 2015.
The researchers evaluated data for daily hospitalizations in 1816 cities across Brazil. They found more than 2.7 million hospitalisations for renal diseases during the time frame and identified an interesting link between these cases and increasing temperatures.
They said for every 1°C increase in temperature, the estimated risk of hospitalisation for renal diseases lasting up to seven days increased by 0.9 percent.
For children up to four years of age, adults over 80, and women, the risks are even higher. The researchers say 0. percent can seem like a small percentage, but it affects a large number of people when applied to the over 212 million people living in Brazil.
They We already knew temperature had an effect on kidneys because doctors have always known this. However, there had never been such a large study done on the topic.
Previous studies have found impacts of heat on the heart and lungs. A recent study from 2021 links extreme heat events to heart disease and related death. But this is the first study to link higher temperatures to kidney problems as well. Kidney disease is a global public health issue, with over 2.5 million related deaths as of 2017.
Global warming is now. People’s bodies are already responding to it with illnesses. The impacts of the climate crisis stretch beyond flooding, landslides and epic droughts.
Climate change is costing people now, Paulo Hilario Nascimento Saldiva, study co-author and professor at University of São Paulo’s medical school says.
“People’s health depends on humans not destroying the environment. Human health is a part of the ecosystem.”
According to the World Health Organisation, heat stress, along with malnutrition, malaria and diarrhoea, could lead to over 250,000 deaths each year from 2030 to 2050.
The new study on rising temperatures and kidney disease also shows that heat stress could lead to serious, ongoing and costly health issues for many people. In Brazil alone, dialysis costs over $700 million for the 90,000 or so people who rely on it.