Between Extremes: Health Effects of Heat and Cold

My latest feature for Environmental Health Perspectives, on the cover of the November issue, addresses the relationship between temperature, human health, and climate change -- and in so doing, uncovers some unexpected details, such as the fact that moderate cold is associated with more deaths worldwide, on the whole, than extreme heat. While extreme heat waves can be highly dangerous (in some historic examples resulting in tens of thousands of deaths), in the scheme of things they're few and far between. The story also looks at how climate change is likely to impact temperature-related illness and death in the future, how health effects of temperature are highly relative and dependent on region, neighborhood, residence style/quality, demographics, and other elements of individuals and their behavior. Finally, it covers future research directions, including the targeted, individualized interventions that will become increasingly crucial to mitigate temperature-related health effects during an era of climate change. Read the full story here.