Extreme temperatures have long been associated with adverse health impacts, ranging from minor illness, to increased hospitalizations and mortality. Heat-related mortality during summer months is likely to become an increasing public health problem in future due to the effects of climate change. We performed a health impact assessment for heat-related mortality for the warm months of April–September for the years 2004 to 2009 inclusive, for the city of Nicosia and for Cyprus as a whole, based on separately derived exposure-response functions. We further estimated the potential future heat-related mortality by including climate projections for southern Europe, which suggest changes in temperature of between 1 °C and 5 °C over the next century. There were 32 heat-related deaths per year in Cyprus over the study period. When adding the projected increase in temperature due to climate change, there was a substantial increase in mortality: for a 1 °C increase in temperature, heat related mortality in Cyprus was estimated to double to 64 per year, and for a 5 °C increase, heat-related mortality was expected to be 8 times the baseline rate for the warm season (281 compared with 32). This analysis highlights the importance of preparing for potential health impacts due to heat in Cyprus, particularly under a changing climate.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus through the Research Promotion Foundation (Project ΥΓΕΙΑ/ΔΥΓΕΙΑ/0609(ΒΙΕ)/20 ). The authors also wish to thank Dr. Pavlos Pavlou (Health Monitoring Unit, Ministry of Health), Mr. Stelios Pashiardis (Senior Meteorological Officer, the Cyprus Meteorological Service), and the late Mr. Savvas Kleanthous (formerly Head of the Air Quality Section, Department of Labour Inspection, Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance, Cyprus) for providing the data used in the study.
© 2016 Elsevier B.V.
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- Climate change
- Public health