Climate Change and Its Impact on Patient Health and the Health Care Ecosystem
Poor air quality, heat waves, wildfires, drought, flooding, and extreme storms are ad-verse environmental catastrophes. These climatic events can have severe long-term health effects on chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, respiratory disease, diabetes, and obesity. Addressing these conditions is often left to the discretion of underfunded state and territorial public health agencies who struggle to meet health infrastructure and community needs. Historically underrepresented racial and ethnic (HURE) populations with chronic disease also face difficult social and economic choices, which are exacerbated by perilous climatic events. In patient-focused research, climate is a factor not often considered when studying patient experience, which gives patient-centered organizations such as the National Health Council (NHC) an opportunity to spearhead novel research on cross-cutting climate issues.