Monday, June 12

There is an increase in heat-related illnesses.

According to a research released in December 2022 by the nonprofit organisation FAIR Health, which investigates health care costs and coverage, the frequency of heat-related illnesses has increased over the previous five years, and older males are particularly vulnerable. Researchers searched through 39 billion health claims from May to December from 2016 to 2021 to identify those that mentioned heat exhaustion, heat stroke, or heat stress.

Heavy sweating, cramping or painful muscles, and dizziness are signs of heat stress. When excessive perspiration results in additional symptoms including headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, and a rapid heartbeat, it is called heat exhaustion. The most serious illness, heatstroke, occurs when the body is unable to cool itself. When a person has heatstroke, their sweating stops, and their body temperature increases dangerously. A person suffering from heatstroke risks dying or being permanently disabled if not given emergency care.

The researchers discovered that in each month of 2021 compared to the comparable month of 2016, a greater proportion of patients had any one of the three diagnoses. Ages 65 and older were most impacted by heat illnesses, and more men than women were affected by them. The findings serve as yet another reminder for older folks to stay hydrated while outdoors and to protect themselves from the sun and heat.

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