ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
U.S. Spends Billions On Alternative Medicine
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Safe Toys for Dogs
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Postmenopausal Women With Breast Cancer Face Joint Issues
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
CANCER
Method for Treating Cervical Lesions May Pose Pregnancy Risks
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
Smoking Exposure Now Linked to Colon, Breast Cancers
CAREGIVING
Depression, PTSD Common Among Lung Transplant Patient Caregivers
When the Caregiver Becomes the Patient
Exercise During Pregnancy May Help Baby
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
COSMETIC
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Health Tip: At Risk for Gingivitis
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
DIABETES
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
Americans Consuming More Sugary Beverages
DIET, NUTRITION
Eating Vegan or Raw-Vegan at Regular Restaurants
Meat Additives May Be Dangerous for Kidney Patients
Pesticides on Produce Tied to ADHD in Children
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Exposure to 9/11 Fumes Tied to Chronic Headaches
Green Areas Lower Health Inequities Between Rich, Poor
Small Doses of Carbon Monoxide Might Help Stroke Victims
EYE CARE, VISION
Drinking Green Tea May Protect Eyes
FDA Goes After Unapproved Eye Washes, Skin Ointments
Unconscious Learning: In the Eye of the Beholder?
FITNESS
Be Healthy, Spend Less
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
More Steps a Day Lead to Better Health
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
GENERAL HEALTH
Have a Goal in Life? You Might Live Longer
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Swine Flu May Pose Problems for Pregnant Women
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Too-Low Blood Pressure Can Also Bring Danger
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Backpack Safety Should Be on Back-to-School Lists
Boosting Kids' Stroke IQ May Save Lives
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
MEN'S HEALTH
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
MENTAL HEALTH
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
SENIORS
Seniors Cope With Sleep Loss Better Than Young Adults
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
For Older Walkers, Faster Is Better
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Add your Article

Global Warming Biggest Health Threat of 21st Century, Experts Say

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- The warming of planet Earth is "the biggest global health threat of the 21st century," a varied group of experts warned Wednesday.

Their report is one of the latest to expound on the deepening environmental crisis, and one of the first to focus on the potential role of health-care professionals in ameliorating the problem.

"This is a bad diagnosis not just for children in different lands. It's for our children and grandchildren," Anthony Costello, a professor of international child health and director of the Institute for Global Health at University College London, said during a Wednesday teleconference. "Even the most conservative estimates are profoundly disturbing and demand action. Climate change raises an important issue of intergenerational justice, that we are setting up a world for our children and grandchildren that may be extremely frightening and turbulent."

Costello is lead author of a thick report produced jointly by The Lancet journal and University College London (UCL) and published in the May 16 issue of the journal.

"There are no institutions at the global level who can really deal effectively with devising complex solutions to these complex problems," added Lancet editor Dr. Richard Horton. "It is an urgent threat. It is a dangerous threat. It has been neglected, and requires an unprecedented response by governments and international organizations."

Among other things, the report's authors call for the involvement of health professionals, who have not yet been central to the cause.

Climate change is now a fact of life on this planet.

"The vast majority of experts, 95 percent, maybe even 99 percent, agree that global warming is taking place," said Kirby Donnelly, head of environmental and occupational health at Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health. "The big issue is the model: When will global warming become a problem?"

The report based its predictions on a 2- to 6-degree warming over the next century but focusing on a pessimistic 4-degree rise, said Mark Maslin, director of UCL's Environment Institute.

Among the health consequences of such a rise:

* Vector-borne diseases such as dengue fever and malaria, once confined to warmer areas, will move north and become more widespread as a result of increased temperatures.
* Heat waves will kill more people in more areas of the world (more than 70,000 people died during a heat wave in Europe in 2003).
* Crop yields will decline, leading to greater food insecurity in a world where 800 million already go to bed hungry every night.
* Water shortages will lead to more gastroenteritis and malnutrition, among other health problems.
* Extreme climactic events such as flash flooding due to changing rainfall patterns and melting ice sheets will hinder the world's sewage systems, leading to diarrhea and other problems, said Dr. Hugh Montgomery, director of UCL's Institute for Human Health and Performance. Severe cyclones and hurricanes will also take more lives.
* More people living in cities will lead to a shortage of housing, which will lead to slums, which will lead to inadequate sanitation systems and increased vulnerability to extreme weather events.

The authors propose adopting policies to reduce carbon emissions and increase carbon biosequestration and to equalize the world's health systems, among other recommendations.

"We have a moral dilemma: How do we protect the health of the poorest people in the world and allow them to develop," Maslin said.

"There are so many public health issues associated with global warming that certainly, once it becomes a significant problem, it will be the most significant public health problem at that point in time," Donnelly said.

"This is a problem that affects the entire planet, and the longer it takes 'us,' the people on this planet, to take action, the more difficult it will be to resolve the problem," Donnelly said. "We urgently need to take at least minimal action to try to reduce emissions and move toward taking more significant action to reduce global warming."

More information

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has more on global warming.



SOURCES: Kirby Donnelly, Ph.D., head, environmental and occupational health, Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health, College Station; May 13, 2009, teleconference with Anthony Costello, M.B., professor, international child health, and director, Institute for Global Health, University College London; Mark Maslin, Ph.D., director, Environment Institute, and head, geography, University College London; and Hugh Montgomery, M.D., director, Institute for Human Health and Performance, University College London; May 16, 2009, The Lancet

Last Updated: May 14, 2009

Copyright 2009 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

More articles at www.eholistic.com