Managing the health effects of temperature in response to climate change : challenges ahead

Huang, Cunrui, Barnett, Adrian G., Xu, Zhiwei, Chu, Cordia, Wang, Xiaoming, Turner, Lyle, & Tong, Shilu (2013) Managing the health effects of temperature in response to climate change : challenges ahead. Environ Health Perspect.

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BACKGROUND: Although many studies have shown that high temperatures are associated with an increased risk of mortality and morbidity, there has been little research on managing the process of planned adaptation to alleviate the health effects of heat events and climate change. In particular, economic evaluation of public health adaptation strategies has been largely absent from both the scientific literature and public policy discussion.

OBJECTIVES: his paper aims to discuss how public health organizations should implement adaptation strategies, and how to improve the evidence base for policies to protect health from heat events and climate change.

DISCUSSION: Public health adaptation strategies to cope with heat events and climate change fall into two categories: reducing the heat exposure and managing the health risks. Strategies require a range of actions, including timely public health and medical advice, improvements to housing and urban planning, early warning systems, and the assurance that health care and social systems are ready to act. Some of these actions are costly, and the implementation should be based on the cost-effectiveness analysis given scarce financial resources. Therefore, research is required not only on the temperature-related health costs, but also on the costs and benefits of adaptation options. The scientific community must ensure that the health co-benefits of climate change policies are recognized, understood and quantified.

CONCLUSIONS: The integration of climate change adaptation into current public health practice is needed to ensure they increase future resilience. The economic evaluation of temperature-related health costs and public health adaptation strategies are particularly important for policy decisions.

Impact and interest:

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11 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 57813
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Advance Publications
DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1206025
ISSN: 1552-9924
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (111705)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Deposited On: 06 Mar 2013 23:52
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2013 15:34

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