As climate change warms the planet, a new study finds that many will suffer hyponatremia and be hospitalised, especially in temperatures above 15°C.
Hyponatremia is a common electrolyte disorder caused by low sodium levels in the blood. In hospitals, 30% of patients have this condition. A temperature increase of 2°C will increase hyponatremia cases by 13.9%.
Sodium is crucial for the body to perform its many functions, such as regulating heart rate, digestion, blood pressure, managing nerve impulses, and brain activity.
The retrospective cohort study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism included the entire Swedish population over 18 years of age.
A “retrospective cohort study” is a research study in which the medical records of groups of individuals who are alike in many ways but differ by a certain characteristic (for example, female nurses who smoke and those who do not smoke) are compared for a particular outcome (such as lung cancer). Also called historic cohort study.The National Cancer Institute
The study wanted to investigate the influence of ambient temperatures on hyponatremia in the Swedish population under the current and future climates.
Respondents of the study were all the patients diagnosed with Hyponatremia between October 2005 and December 2014 taken from Sweden’s National Patient Register to study the rates of hyponatremia at a specific outdoor temperature and increments of 1 degree Celsius.
Researchers find that the risk of hyponatremia increases rapidly above certain temperature thresholds. Women and people aged 80 and above were 15 times more likely to be hospitalised.
To read the entire study, click the link in the “Source” below.
Buster Mannheimer, PhD, Alin Sterea-Grossu, M.D, Henrik Falhammar, PhD, Jan Calissendorff, PhD, Jakob Skov, PhD, Jonatan D Lindh, PhD, Current and future burdens of heat-related hyponatremia – a nationwide register-based study, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2022; dgac103, https://doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgac103
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