Extreme heat was related to higher all-cause mortality from 2008 to 2017. This is according to a study published in JAMA Network Open. Sameed Ahmed M. Khatana is a University of Pennsylvania student who has examined the association between extreme heat and all-cause mortality rates in the United States. The analysis included the number of extreme heat days in the summer months from 2008 to 2017 and county-level all-cause mortality rates.
Khatana found that the median number of extreme heat days during the summer months in all 3,108 counties in the contiguous United States was 89 days. Each additional extreme heat day in a month was associated with 0.07 additional death per 100,000 adults after accounting for time-invariant confounding and time-varying environmental and economic measures. Greater increases in mortality rates were found for older versus younger adults, male versus female adults, and non-Hispanic Black versus non-Hispanic White adults.
The projected increase in extreme heat due to climate change may widen health disparities between groups, without mitigation.