Climate change and human health studied

April 22, 2010 at 1:12 PM
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BETHESDA, Md., April 22 (UPI) -- The U.S. National Institutes of Health says it has identified specific medical consequences of climate change that require further research.

The NIH report highlights key disease categories and other health consequences researchers say are occurring or will occur due to climate change. The scientists said their study provides a starting point for coordination of federal research to better understand climate's impact on human health and identify who will be most vulnerable and what efforts will be most beneficial.

"This white paper articulates, in a concrete way, that human beings are vulnerable in many ways to the health effects of climate change," said Linda Birnbaum, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Toxicology Program. "It lays out both what we know and what we need to know about these effects in a way that will allow the health research community to bring its collective knowledge to bear on solving these problems."

The white paper highlights the state-of-the-science on the human health consequences of climate change on such maladies as asthma, respiratory allergies and airway diseases, mental health and stress-related disorders, cancer, neurological disorders, cardiovascular disease and stroke, waterborne and food-borne disease, nutrition, weather-related morbidity and mortality, vector-borne and zoonotic diseases and human developmental effects.

The report is available at and in a special supplemental issue of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

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