10:51pm Friday 10 July 2020

Loaded Dice: Aging in a Changing Climate

INDIANAPOLIS –2012 was the hottest year on record. How will a warmer global climate affect the growing elderly population? In a session presented at the American College of Sports Medicine’s 60th Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, W. Larry Kenney, Ph.D., FACSM, of Penn State University, will discuss how climate change affects human life and death, with an emphasis on the world’s aging population.

“Global warming increases the frequency and severity of heat waves. People over age 65 die at disproportionate rates during heat waves,” said Dr. Kenney. “Surprisingly, death is typically related to cardiovascular complications rather than heat stroke.”

Kenney, an environmental physiologist and past president of ACSM, has done extensive research in the area of aging and human temperature regulation, including responses of older men and women to heat and cold stress and dehydration. He has published well over 200 scientific articles and book chapters and has lectured around the world on these topics. His talk today will specifically cover the relationship between weather and health, the epidemiology of heat waves, heat stress and cardiovascular strain in the elderly, and general thoughts about aging in a hotter world.

“As the Boomers hit their 60s, aging and health issues are at the forefront,” he said, “climate change is not usually at the top of the list when thinking about health issues of aging, but it can have a huge effect on health and quality of life.”

For more information about ACSM’s 60th Annual Meeting and World Congress on Exercise is Medicine, please visit www.acsmannualmeeting.org.


The American College of Sports Medicine is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. More than 50,000 international, national, and regional members and certified professionals are dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine. The 60th ACSM Annual Meeting brings more than 6,000 physicians, scientists, educators, students and others to the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis May 28-June 1.

The conclusions outlined in this news release are those of the researchers only, and should not be construed as an official statement of the American College of Sports Medicine. Research highlighted in this news release has been presented at a professional meeting but has not been peer-reviewed.

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