A team from Columbia University analyzed hospital rates in New York State from 1995 to 2014, finding an increase amid warmer temperatures.
Researchers suggested that alcohol-related visits may be driven by people’s tendency to consume more substances in pleasant outdoor weather and more perspiring, leading to dehydration.
For other drug use, including cannabis, cocaine, opioids and sedatives, higher temperatures also resulted in more hospital visits but only up to a limit of 65.8°F.
Researchers suggested that alcohol-related visits may be driven by people’s tendency to consume more substances in pleasant outdoor weather and more perspiring, leading to dehydration
The study authors note that their study may underestimate the link between temperature rise and substance use because the most severe disorders may have resulted in deaths before a hospital visit was possible.
First author Robbie M. Parks said: ‘We saw that during periods of higher temperatures, there was a corresponding increase in hospital visits related to alcohol and substance use, which also brings attention to some less obvious potential consequences of climate change.’
The team used data from 671,625 alcohol- and 721,469 substance-related disorder hospital visits over 20 years, compared to a record of daily temperatures and relative humidity.
This allowed them to create a statistical model of days with high temperatures and nearby days with lower temperatures to understand the impact of short-term climate-related phenomena such as periods of elevated heat.
For other drug use, including cannabis, cocaine, opioids and sedatives, higher temperatures also resulted in more hospital visits but only up to a limit of 65.8°F
Data showed alcohol-related disorder hospital visits increased by 24 percent amid higher temperatures, while drug-related visits saw up to a 42 percent increase
Researchers found that the higher the temperatures, the more hospital visits for alcohol-related disorders.
Data showed alcohol-related disorder hospital visits increased by 24 percent amid higher temperatures, while drug-related visits saw up to a 42 percent increase.
‘Males made up the majority of hospital visits across all causes, from 53 percent in sedatives to 63 percent in alcohol-related disorders, reads the study.
Most hospital visits were in-patient, from 68 percent of cannabis hospital visits to 87 percent of sedative hospital visits. Most hospital visits were also not in NYC, from 53 percent of hospital visits for cocaine and opioids to 67 percent for cannabis.’
Senior author Marianthi-Anna Kioumourtzoglou said: ‘Public health interventions that broadly target alcohol and substance disorders in warmer weather—for example, targeted messaging on the risks of their consumption during warmer weather—should be a public health priority.’
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) shared data in 2022 showing that the highest alcohol-related hospital admissions were reported in July, August, and May.
In the US, many Americans kick off the summer in May, which would explain a spike in hospital visits.
Doctors are blaming health issues on climate change – a Canadian medical professional pointed to it as the cause of a patient’s asthma.
This was determined after an unprecedented heat wave and poor air quality contributed to the person’s deteriorating health.
Dr. Kyle Merritt, who works at a Nelson, British Columbia hospital, said the environmental hazards prompted him to make his first ‘climate change’ clinical diagnosis after treating a patient struggling to breathe.
‘If we’re not looking at the underlying cause, and we’re just treating the symptoms, we’re just gonna keep falling further and further behind,’ the emergency room doctor told Glacier Media.
‘It’s me trying to just… process what I’m seeing.’
And in July, another group of experts from Canada said climate change is speeding up the rate of blindness.
Researchers at the University of Toronto compared rates of vision problems among 1.7 million people across all 50 states in the US.
They found those who lived in warmer regions were up to nearly 50 percent more likely to suffer severe vision impairment than those in cooler places.