Making you feel hot and uncomfortable is the least of what heat waves can do to you. Too much heat can do a lot of damage to your body. This is according to research published just recently.
Scientists have found several heat related body disorders which may be dangerous to your health, some of which are fluid and electrolyte imbalance, renal failure, urinary tract infection, sepsis and heat stroke. These disorders affect older people more and increases their chances of getting hospitalized.
It’s common knowledge that older people are easily affected by heat more. However, studies in the past concerning the effects heat had on older people were very limited. In this research, the scientists agreed to take the study to the next level.
What the researchers did was to evaluate 127 billion daily hospitalization rates. The data was taken from 23.7 million Medicare beneficiaries between 1999 and 2010 based on 214 diseases covering 1,943 counties all over the country. The results were then matched from over 4,000 temperature monitors all over the country.
What were the the results of their research? It was revealed that the number one danger for older people is heat stroke. The record shows that people were 2.5 times more prone to be hospitalized from heatstroke during a heat wave than at any other given time. Another finding was that older people are 18% more in danger of suffering electrolyte disorders. Another 14 percent run the danger of being sick with renal failure and another 10% are at risk of urinary tract infection.
Jennifer Bobb, lead author of the new study said, ”Knowledge of which diseases are most likely to occur during heat waves could help health systems to be better prepared to prevent and treat excess heat-related hospitalizations now and as climate change progresses,”
The findings are published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)