Future predictions about the effect of climate change on temperature and extreme hot weather could have a significant impact on lung health across Europe.
A new study, published in the journal BMJ Open, investigated what impact the predicted increases in average temperature due to climate change would have on lung health.
The researchers used climate change models that predict how the weather will change in the coming years and existing data on heat-related hospital admissions to generate their predictions. They compared a reference period of 1981-2010 with the future period 2021-2050.
The results found that the number of heat-related hospital admissions for lung health is predicted to increase to 26,000 per year in Europe, compared to 11,000 during the reference period.
The researchers believe that the increases will vary across Europe. The largest increase in hospital admissions was predicted in Southern European countries, where there is also predicted to be an increase in the number of extremely hot days.