Heat At Temperatures Well Below Extreme Still Affects Health

Aug 17, 2015

Researchers are warning residents to drink plenty of water and keep to the shade on hot summer days like today. A study from Brown University and the Rhode Island Department of Health finds that hot temperatures affect people of all ages, not just children and seniors.

Researchers at Brown University and the Rhode Island Department of Health examined health and temperature data from recent years. They were surprised to find that people from age 18 all the way to 64 landed in the emergency room for heat-related stress, said Samantha Kingsley, the study’s lead author and an epidemiology PhD student at Brown.

“One of the important findings is that this is happening at temperatures around 80 degrees and not just at extreme temperatures or during heat waves,” said Kingsley. “Many people were going to the hospital for heat-related reasons at temperatures well below what we would consider extreme and well below temperatures that require a heat warning to be issued.”

With temperatures forecasted to rise even more by the end of the century, the study projects the rate of heat-related deaths and emergency room visits may continue to increase.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you: news@ripr.org