SEOUL, July 28 (Korea Bizwire) – Extreme heatwaves are sweeping across the globe, with temperatures in Iraq and Kuwait exceeding 50 degrees Celsius, China’s southern and western regions seeing daily highs over 40 degrees, and Southern California overcome by surging wildfires.
Adding to the rising concerns, a team of Korean scientists from Seoul National University revealed that every degree Celsius increase in temperature also increased the rate of sudden cardiac arrest by 1.3 percent.
Cardiac arrest occurs suddenly with little or no warning, making it difficult to predict, and it is triggered by an electrical malfunction in the heart causing an irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia.
According to the team, the rate of cardiac arrest was lowest when the summer daily high temperature was 28 degrees Celsius, and increased by 1.3 percent along with every degree Celsius in temperature increase.
The team also discovered that while cardiac arrest was most prevalent around 9 a.m. on days when no ‘heatwave watch’ was issued, it occurred most frequently around 5 p.m. on days when the watch was issued. Under current policy, a heatwave watch is issued when daily highs of 33 degrees Celsius or more last for more than two days.
Physiological irregularities such as dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, functional disturbance in the kidneys, disturbed autonomic nervous system, and thrombosis were more likely to occur in extreme heat, according to the team.
“Such high temperatures can be especially harmful to people with more delicate cardiovascular systems, and can even lead to death, because an increase in body temperature expands our blood vessels, which can create a strain on the heart,” said cardiology professor Oh Sae-il, who participated in the study.
Cardiology professor Kang Si-hyeok, who also took part in the study, recommended that citizens stay hydrated and refrain from outdoor activities under heatwave warnings or heatwave watches.
“If you sense strong irregularities in your body under hot weather, it would be wise to quickly visit a hospital for a check-up,” said Kang.
The study was conducted via an analysis of 50,318 patients who suffered from sudden cardiac arrest between 2006 and 2013, and its full findings were published in the latest edition of the International Journal of Cardiology.
By Lina Jang (email@example.com)