Impact of population aging on future temperature-related mortality at different global warming levels

Kai Chen*, Evan de Schrijver, Sidharth Sivaraj, Francesco Sera, Noah Scovronick, Leiwen Jiang, Dominic Roye, Eric Lavigne, Jan Kyselý, Aleš Urban, Alexandra Schneider, Veronika Huber, Joana Madureira, Malcolm N. Mistry, Ivana Cvijanovic, Antonio Gasparrini, Ana M. Vicedo-Cabrera, Ben Armstrong, Rochelle Schneider, Aurelio TobiasChristofer Astrom, Yuming Guo, Yasushi Honda, Rosana Abrutzky, Shilu Tong, Micheline de Sousa Zanotti Stagliorio Coelho, Paulo Hilario Nascimento Saldiva, Patricia Matus Correa, Nicolás Valdés Ortega, Haidong Kan, Samuel Osorio, Hans Orru, Ene Indermitte, Jouni J.K. Jaakkola, Niilo Ryti, Mathilde Pascal, Klea Katsouyanni, Antonis Analitis, Fatemeh Mayvaneh, Alireza Entezari, Patrick Goodman, Ariana Zeka, Paola Michelozzi, Francesca de’Donato, Masahiro Hashizume, Barrak Alahmad, Magali Hurtado Diaz, César De la Cruz Valencia, Ala Overcenco, Danny Houthuijs, Caroline Ameling, Shilpa Rao, Gabriel Carrasco-Escobar, Xerxes Seposo, Susana Pereira da Silva, Iulian Horia Holobaca, Fiorella Acquaotta, Ho Kim, Whanhee Lee, Carmen Íñiguez, Bertil Forsberg, Martina S. Ragettli, Yue Liang Leon Guo, Shih Chun Pan, Shanshan Li, Valentina Colistro, Antonella Zanobetti, Joel Schwartz, Tran Ngoc Dang, Do Van Dung, Hanne Krage Carlsen, John Paul Cauchi, Souzana Achilleos, Raanan Raz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Older adults are generally amongst the most vulnerable to heat and cold. While temperature-related health impacts are projected to increase with global warming, the influence of population aging on these trends remains unclear. Here we show that at 1.5 °C, 2 °C, and 3 °C of global warming, heat-related mortality in 800 locations across 50 countries/areas will increase by 0.5%, 1.0%, and 2.5%, respectively; among which 1 in 5 to 1 in 4 heat-related deaths can be attributed to population aging. Despite a projected decrease in cold-related mortality due to progressive warming alone, population aging will mostly counteract this trend, leading to a net increase in cold-related mortality by 0.1%–0.4% at 1.5–3 °C global warming. Our findings indicate that population aging constitutes a crucial driver for future heat- and cold-related deaths, with increasing mortality burden for both heat and cold due to the aging population.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number1796
JournalNature Communications
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2024

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© The Author(s) 2024.

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