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

Author: Georgia K.Chaseling, Josep Iglesies-Grau, Martin Juneau, Anil Nigam, David Kaiser, Daniel Gagnon

Year: 2021

Published in: Canadian Journal of Cardiology Volume 37, Issue 11, November 2021, Pages 1828-1836

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.