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Aging on a warming planet: tripled heat exposure for older populations in 2050

From Delhi to Sacramento, temperatures are soaring, with 2024 poised to shatter last year's records for the hottest summer ever, leaving cities sweating and scrambling for cooling solutions… 🥵

A study published in Nature Communications in May 2024 warns that by 2050, the cumulative heat exposure for older people (aged 69+) will triple worldwide, affecting 246 million people. The effect will be particularly pronounced in low- and middle-income countries in Asia and Africa that are more prone to climate change-induced heatwaves. Coinciding trends of aging populations and rapidly rising temperatures are set to create hotspots of vulnerability.

As the study explains, "Increases in the intensity, duration and frequency of heat spells pose direct threats to physical health and mortality risk, with especially severe consequences for older adults, given their heightened susceptibility to hyperthermia and common health conditions worsened by heat exposure, such as cardiovascular disease."

In the face of these new climate realities, what's your strategy for supporting vulnerable aging populations in your region?

Spotted by: Franziska Füsting