Send to

Choose Destination
Health Aff (Millwood). 2011 Nov;30(11):2167-76. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2011.0229.

Six climate change-related events in the United States accounted for about $14 billion in lost lives and health costs.

Author information

Health and Environment Program, Natural Resources Defense Council, New York City, NY, USA.


The future health costs associated with predicted climate change-related events such as hurricanes, heat waves, and floods are projected to be enormous. This article estimates the health costs associated with six climate change-related events that struck the United States between 2000 and 2009. The six case studies came from categories of climate change-related events projected to worsen with continued global warming-ozone pollution, heat waves, hurricanes, infectious disease outbreaks, river flooding, and wildfires. We estimate that the health costs exceeded $14 billion, with 95 percent due to the value of lives lost prematurely. Actual health care costs were an estimated $740 million. This reflects more than 760,000 encounters with the health care system. Our analysis provides scientists and policy makers with a methodology to use in estimating future health costs related to climate change and highlights the growing need for public health preparedness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center