Julio Díaz

Julio Díaz

Julio Díaz
Cargo

Co-director of the Reference Unit on Climate Change, Health and Urban Environment of the Instituto de Salud Carlos III and scientific coordinator of the Observatory on Health and Climate Change

Increasing proportion of older people exposed to heat that is hazardous to their health

Twenty-three per cent of the world's population over the age of 69 will be living with acute heat exposure by 2050, compared to 14 per cent in 2020, according to a study published in Nature Communications. The research highlights southern Europe, parts of North and South America, Southeast Asia and all of Australia as areas of ‘increasing stress’, where higher heat exposure overlaps with an increasingly ageing population. The effects will be most severe in Asia and Africa, according to the study. 

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Spain and extreme weather events: the Health and Climate Change Observatory needs to be set up as a matter of urgency

On the eve of an episode of unusually high temperatures for this time of year, it is time to take stock of the summer we have experienced, characterised by a succession of extreme weather phenomena in the form of heat waves, drought and torrential rains. The seriousness and complexity of these problems and their repercussions in many areas, especially on health, make it urgent to set up the Health and Climate Change Observatory approved last July, with a stable and independent structure.

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Researching the health effects of high temperatures goes beyond estimating deaths

Counting deaths attributable to the effects of high temperatures is basic as a public health surveillance tool, but it should not become the only research objective. It is necessary to know why the population in some places adapts better than others to heat waves, what variables influence them, and to modify them when possible.

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Climate emergency means public health crisis

Last week saw the conclusion of the XL Annual Meeting of the Spanish Society of Epidemiology under the theme: "Challenges of the 21st Century: Environment, Climate Change and Social Inequalities". Climate change is the most important environmental challenge with an impact on public health facing society today. It is also a social challenge, as it further accentuates inequalities and inequities in health.

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