European heatwaves and health risks

Although many of us enjoy the sunshine, as a result of climate change we are increasingly likely to experience extreme summer temperatures. Britain had its second hottest day ever recorded during the heatwave the 25th of July 2019, with temperatures reaching 38.1 degrees.

The high temperatures pose a major threat to people’s health, agriculture, and the environment. The main causes of illness and death during a heatwave are respiratory and
cardiovascular diseases. Additionally, there are specific heat-related illnesses including: heat rash, heat oedema, heat syncope, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke.

We asked both healthcare professionals and general public in our community about the level of concern regarding a future of intense heatwaves.


Overall in Europe, 41% of healthcare professionals who participated in this survey are “extremely concerned” and 44% “moderately concerned” with the health risks caused by intense heatwaves.
On the other hand,  from the general public, 52% of the participants stated to be “extremely concerned” and 36% are “moderately concerned”.

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