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Canadian Journal of Cardiology

Extreme Heat and Cardiovascular Health: What a Cardiovascular Health Professional Should Know

Published:November 17, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cjca.2021.08.008

      Abstract

      As global temperatures continue to rise, extreme heat events are becoming more frequent and intense. Extreme heat affects cardiovascular health as it is associated with a greater risk of adverse cardiovascular events, especially for adults with preexisting cardiovascular diseases. Nonetheless, the pathophysiology underlying the association between extreme heat and cardiovascular risk remains understudied. Furthermore, specific recommendations to mitigate the effects of extreme heat on cardiovascular health remain limited to guide clinical practice within the context of a warming climate. The overall objective of this review article is to raise awareness that extreme heat poses a risk for cardiovascular health. Specifically, the review discusses why cardiovascular healthcare professionals should care about extreme heat, how extreme heat affects cardiovascular health, and recommendations to minimise the cardiovascular consequences of extreme heat. Future research directions are also provided to further our understating of the cardiovascular health consequences of extreme heat. A better awareness and understanding of the cardiovascular consequences of extreme heat will help cardiovascular health professionals assess the risk and optimise the care of their patients exposed to an increasingly warm climate.

      Résumé

      Avec la hausse continue des températures à l'échelle mondiale, les épisodes de chaleur extrême deviennent plus fréquents et plus intenses. Cette chaleur extrême affecte la santé cardiovasculaire car elle est associée à un risque accru d'événements cardiovasculaires indésirables, en particulier chez les adultes souffrant de maladies cardiovasculaires préexistantes. Néanmoins, la pathophysiologie qui sous-tend l'association entre chaleur extrême et risque cardiovasculaire reste peu étudiée. En outre, les recommandations spécifiques visant à atténuer les effets de la chaleur extrême sur la santé cardiovasculaire restent limitées afin de guider la pratique clinique dans le contexte du réchauffement climatique. L'objectif général de cette revue de littérature est de sensibiliser les professionnels de la santé cardiovasculaire aux risques que posent la chaleur extrême pour la santé cardiovasculaire. Plus précisément, nous aborderons les raisons pour lesquelles les professionnels de la santé cardiovasculaire devraient se préoccuper de la chaleur extrême, la manière dont la chaleur extrême affecte la santé cardiovasculaire et les recommandations visant à minimiser les conséquences cardiovasculaires de la chaleur extrême. Des orientations de recherche futures sont également proposées afin de mieux appréhender les conséquences de la chaleur extrême sur la santé cardiovasculaire. Une meilleure connaissance et compréhension des conséquences cardiovasculaires de la chaleur extrême aidera les professionnels de la santé cardiovasculaire à évaluer le risque et à optimiser les soins de leurs patients exposés à un climat de plus en plus chaud.
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