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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2014 Mar 1;189(5):512-9. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201310-1924PP.

Climate change. A global threat to cardiopulmonary health.

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1
1 Pulmonary and Critical Care Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.

Abstract

Recent changes in the global climate system have resulted in excess mortality and morbidity, particularly among susceptible individuals with preexisting cardiopulmonary disease. These weather patterns are projected to continue and intensify as a result of rising CO2 levels, according to the most recent projections by climate scientists. In this Pulmonary Perspective, motivated by the American Thoracic Society Committees on Environmental Health Policy and International Health, we review the global human health consequences of projected changes in climate for which there is a high level of confidence and scientific evidence of health effects, with a focus on cardiopulmonary health. We discuss how many of the climate-related health effects will disproportionally affect people from economically disadvantaged parts of the world, who contribute relatively little to CO2 emissions. Last, we discuss the financial implications of climate change solutions from a public health perspective and argue for a harmonized approach to clean air and climate change policies.

PMID:
24400619
PMCID:
PMC3977715
DOI:
10.1164/rccm.201310-1924PP
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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