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AJPH supplement focuses on how climate change impacts public health

AJPH supplement focuses on how climate change impacts public health

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In the American Public Health Association’s Year of Climate Change and Health, the American Journal of Public Health will release a special supplement focused on climate change and its effect on public health.

This collection of editorials and research articles examines how climate change impacts our health and discusses how the public health community and policymakers can respond to this threat:

Planting more trees in cities can prevent deaths from heat

Researchers examined heat-related deaths caused by the urban heat island effect in Ho Chi Minh City. They found that deaths from the urban heat island effect accounted for 30% of the total mortalities from heat in the city. The study also found that every increase in green space by 1 square kilometer per 1000 people can prevent 7.4 mortalities resulting from heat.

Non-US citizens at higher risk of heat-related death

Researchers compared heat-related mortality in non-U.S. citizens to that of U.S. citizens. They found that heat-related deaths accounted for 2.23% of deaths among non-U.S. citizens and 0.02% of deaths among U.S. citizens. Data also showed that non-U.S. citizens aged 18 to 24 were 20 times more likely to die from excessive heat exposure than were U.S. citizens. 95% of non-U.S. citizen heat-related deaths occurred in Arizona, California and Texas. The study found an increased mortality risk among non-U.S. citizens compared with U.S. citizens for heat-related deaths, especially those younger and of Hispanic ethnicity.

US health care industry’s greenhouse gas emissions will cause up to 381,000 years of healthy life lost

This study quantifies the increased disease burden caused by U.S. health care sector greenhouse gas emissions. In 2013, the health care sector emitted 614 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents. Researchers projected that health care greenhouse gas emissions would cause 123,000 to 381,000 disability-adjusted life-years in future health damages, with malnutrition being the largest damage category. Researchers note that this data highlights the magnitude of greenhouse gas emissions associated with health care itself, and the severity of associated health damages.

Find a full list of AJPH papers EMBARGOED until October 26, 2017, at 4 p.m. EDT below:

  • Estimated global disease burden from United States healthcare sector greenhouse gas emissions
  • Differences in heat-related mortality by citizenship status? United States, 2005-2014
  • Are Non-U.S. Citizens More Likely to Die from Heat Exposure?
  • The Need for Climate and Health Education
  • Finding our Voice: Public Health on the Front Lines of Climate Change
  • Outcomes of climate change in a marginalized population: An ethnography on the Turkana pastoralists in Kenya
  • Global association of air pollution and cardiorespiratory diseases: A systematic review, meta-analysis and investigation of modifier variables
  • Climate Change, Public Health and Policy: A California Case Study
  • The Critical Roles of Health Professionals in Climate Change Prevention and Preparedness
  • Climate and Birthweight: Investigating Agricultural livelihoods in Kenya and Mali
  • Health Care’s Carbon Footprint: Stomping or Treading Lightly?
  • A Time for Action: APHA’s 2017 Year of Climate Change and Health
  • Climate, Health and Equity: The imperative of working at the intersection
  • Green space and deaths attributable to the urban heat island effect in Ho Chi Minh City

The articles above will be published online October 26, 2017, at 4 p.m. EDT by AJPH under “First Look.” “First Look” articles have undergone peer review, copyediting and approval by authors but have not yet been printed to paper or posted online by issue. AJPH is published by the American Public Health Association, and is available at

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