Heat waves threaten the old

  • Caruso C
  • Posey V
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Abstract

Discusses the fact that heatstroke rates in persons aged 65 yrs and older are 12-23 times the rates in the remainder of the population. Heat waves also cause dramatic increases in deaths among elders who experience such chronic conditions as congestive heart failure, recent or old cerebrovascular accidents, diabetes mellitus, and Parkinson's disease. Factors most commonly related to heat illness include advanced age, low income, acute infection, obesity, dehydration, impaired sweat production, psychiatric disorders, alcoholism, cardiovascular disease, endocrine disorders, and the use of certain drug groups (diuretics, antihypertensives, phenothiazines, tricyclic antidepressants, anticholinergics, and alcohol). Treatment and prevention guidelines are provided. (15 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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Authors

  • Claire Caruso

  • Virginia Posey

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