climate effect on human health

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Climate change and human e


aLondon School of Hygiene and bWorld Health Organization, G

Edited version presented in Decem Institute of Public Health

Received 10 November 2005; acce Available online 20 March 2006

KEYWORDS Climate change;

overall balance of effects on health is likely to be negative and populations in low-

economic development and by the degree to

implemented. Although most studies have assessed

Public Health (2006) 120, 585-596

* Based on a paper presented to the World Climate

29-October 3, 2003 which has been updated.


which effective adaptation measures areChange Conference, Moscow, Russian Federation, September


It has been known for thousands of years, at least since the time of Hippocrates that climate has wide

ranging impacts on health. Increasing recognition of the process of climate change has led to a growing interest by health researchers in assessing the potential mechanisms by which changes in climate could influence health (Fig. 1). Such health effects will be modulated by factors such as socio-

income countries are likely to be particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects. The experience of the 2003 heat wave in Europe shows that high-income countries may also be adversely affected. Adaptation to climate change requires public health strategies and improved surveillance. Mitigation of climate change by reducing the use of fossil fuels and increasing a number of uses of the renewable energy technologies should improve health in the near-term by reducing exposure to air pollution. Q 2006 The Royal Institute of Public Health. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Human health; Vulnerability

Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, WC1E 7HT London, UK eneva, Switzerland

ber 2005 by Professor Sir Andy Haines as the 102nd Harben Lecturer for the Royal

pted 10 November 2005

Summary It is now widely accepted that climate change is occurring...