Deaths by injuries in the U.S.–is there a connection to climate change?

Hotter temperatures lead to more deaths by injuries in the U.S.

Temperatures that differ from the long-term average over time–hotter or colder–will become more frequent as our climate changes. Hotter temperatures have been tied to increases in deaths by injuries in the United States.

“In the present study, we used data on mortality and temperature over 38 years (1980–2017) in the contiguous USA and formulated a … model to quantify how anomalous temperatures … affect deaths from unintentional (transport, falls and drownings) and intentional (assault and suicide) injuries, by age group and sex. We found that a 1.5 °C anomalously warm year [each year in which each month in each U.S. state was +1.5 °C warmer than its long-term average] … would be associated with an estimated 1,601 (95% credible interval 1,430–1,776) additional injury deaths. Of these additional deaths, 84% would occur in males, mostly in adolescence to middle age. These would comprise increases in deaths from drownings, transport, assault and suicide, offset partly by a decline in deaths from falls in older ages. The findings demonstrate the need for targeted interventions against injuries during periods of anomalously warm temperatures, especially as these episodes are likely to increase with global climate change.”

Go to the source —

Parks, R. M., Bennett, J. E., Tamura-Wicks, H., Vasilis, K., Ralf, T., Goodarz, D., & Majid, E. (2020). Anomalously warm temperatures are associated with increased injury deaths. Nature Medicine, 26(1), 65-70. [PDF] [Cited by]

For additional research, please see the Science Primary Literature Database.

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