This article is 7 months old
Reactions: record heat in summer 2022 caused more than 61,000 deaths in Europe, more than 11,000 of them in Spain

The heat waves that took place in Europe during the summer of 2022 were associated with more than 61,000 deaths on the continent, more than 11,000 of them in Spain. These are the results of a modelling study published in the journal Nature Medicine and led by ISGlobal researchers.

10/07/2023 - 17:00 CEST
Expert reactions

Pedro Gullón - muertes calor EN

Pedro Gullón

Social epidemiologist and doctor specialising in preventive medicine and public health at the University of Alcalá

Science Media Centre Spain

This article analyses the mortality impact of the 2022 heatwaves in Europe. It is estimated that heatwaves in the summer of 2022 could be associated with 61,672 deaths, with southern European countries being particularly affected.  

This impact could be similar to that of the 2003 heatwaves, although comparisons are difficult to make due to methodological differences between the models used then and now.  

Beyond the position in the ranking, the article highlights the importance of last year's heatwaves and, in view of climate forecasts, obliges public health authorities to put all their surveillance and control resources into the impact of heatwaves.

The author has declared they have no conflicts of interest

Manuel Franco - muertes calor EN

Manuel Franco

Epidemiologist, professor and researcher at the Universities of Alcalá and Johns Hopkins. Spokesperson for the Spanish Society of Public Health and Health Administration SESPAS

Science Media Centre Spain

The ERC-funded project is of the highest quality and so is the publication. 
We know more and more about the quantitative and qualitative effects of heatwaves. Better metrics to understand the effects on mortality are needed and the fact that this has been done across Europe is very important. 
I would highlight three important issues with respect to this research: 

  1. Southern Europe is the most affected. This leaves us in a very clear situation where we need to act as early and as well as possible on both adaptation and mitigation. 
  2. Mortality estimates are almost twice as high as the "official" estimates, which appear to be outdated. 
  3. The hottest days on the planet have just been measured.
The author has not responded to our request to declare conflicts of interest
Heat-related mortality in Europe during the summer of 2022
  • Research article
  • Peer reviewed
  • People
  • Modelling
Nature Medicine
Publication date

Ballester et al.

Study types:
  • Research article
  • Peer reviewed
  • People
  • Modelling
The 5Ws +1
Publish it