“We estimate that excess mortality attributable to heat waves in the eastern U.S. would result in 200-7,807 deaths per year,” explains Liu. “We also estimate that heat waves will be 3.5 -6.4 times more frequent in 2057-2059 than in 2002-2004.”
Complete findings published in the November 6, 2013 edition of Environmental Health Perspectives are available at www.ehponline.org
Heat waves, commonly defined as a few consecutive days with high temperatures above a certain threshold, are the leading cause of weather-related mortality in the U.S.
“Since the health impacts of heat waves can have significant spatial variabilities, strategies are unlikely to be universally effective,” explains Liu. “To take local needs into account, region-specific estimates of health outcomes due to heat waves are very important. In addition, a national-scale epidemiological study is needed to refine these region-specific findings.”