A new study claims global warming may threaten heart health. Maria Cheng of the Associated Press reports:Perhaps this is more evidence that our health is tied to the world around us.
On the sidelines of the European Society of Cardiology's annual meeting in Vienna this week, some experts said the issue deserves more attention. It's well-known that people have more heart problems when it's hot.
During the European heat wave in 2003, there were an estimated 35,000 deaths above expected levels in the first two weeks of August. In France alone, nearly 15,000 extra people died when temperatures soared. Experts say much of that was due to heart problems in the elderly worsened by the extreme heat.
The hardening of the heart's arteries is like rust developing on a car, said Dr. Gordon Tomaselli, chief of cardiology at Johns Hopkins University. "Rust develops much more quickly at warm temperatures and so does atherosclerosis," said Tomaselli, who is program chair at the American Heart Association.