Heatwave and health impact research: a global review
Objective: To examine how research on heatwaves and their health-related impact is distributed globally.
Methods: A systematic review was undertaken. Four online databases were searched for articles examining links between specific historical heatwave events and their impact on mortality or morbidity. The locations of these events were mapped at a global scale, and compared to other known characteristics that influence heat-related illness and death.
Results: When examining the location of heatwave and health impact research worldwide, studies were concentrated on mid-latitude, high-income countries of low- to medium-population density. Regions projected to experience the most extreme heatwaves in the future were not represented. Furthermore, the majority of studies examined mortality as a key indicator of population-wide impact, rather than the more sensitive indicator of morbidity.
Conclusion: While global heatwave and health impact research is prolific in some regions, the global population most at risk of death and illness from extreme heat is under-represented. Heatwave and health impact research is needed in regions where this impact is expected to be most severe.
Publication titleHealth and Place
Department/SchoolMenzies Institute for Medical Research
PublisherPergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd
Place of publicationThe Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford, England, Ox5 1Gb
Rights statementCopyright 2018 the authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/