Researchers have warned that if the present rates of climate change and global warming continue, none would be spared. "APHA strongly supports the key concerns and need for action expressed in the report", said the group's executive director Georges Benjamin, M.D., in a statement.
It follows a major climate report issued over the Thanksgiving Day weekend that detailed climate and economic impacts in the US if drastic action is not taken to address climate change.
Transport is responsible for numerous air pollution problems of urban areas, and levels are generally getting worse.
The scientists call on governments to take swift action to curb climate change.
Days before officials gather in Poland for talks aimed at finalising the Paris agreement climate goals, the authors said governments were failing their populations by underfunding core health infrastructure to protect against extreme weather.
It also takes a unique look at the impact climate change can have on mental health, noting a link between an increasing number of suicides and rising temperatures in recent years.
The report goes on explain that warmer climates are also responsible for spread of microbes and infections leading to outbreaks and epidemics. Such as Malaria and dengue fever.
Dr. Courtney Howard, an emergency physician from Yellowknife who wrote the Canadian section of the report, said right now the world is on pace for temperature increases we can't adapt to, resulting in more deaths and disease.
Last Updated: November 28, 2018.
In 2017, 153 billion hours of labour were lost due to heat exposure, an increase of 62 billion hours since 2000.
"The findings are clear and the stakes could not be higher", said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the World Health Organization director-general.
Storms and floods, for instance, do not only cause direct injuries but can also shut down hospitals, spur disease outbreaks and produce lingering mental health problems, as people lose their homes, he said. "We think of these as the canary in, ironically, the coalmine". "I challenge all doctors and healthcare systems to do this too-to help their patients in both the short and long term", she said.
And Europe and the eastern Mediterranean are more vulnerable than Africa and southeast Asia due to many older people living in densely populated cities, the researchers said in an analysis in The Lancet medical journal.
In 2017, over 157 million vulnerable people over the age of 65 were exposed to heatwaves, and 18 million more people compared to 2016. The heat is often associated with air pollution in the cities.
"Trends in the impacts of climate change, exposures and vulnerabilities show unacceptably high risk for health now and in the future". This led to 1.1 billion hours of labour. While it might not directly kill, heat stress can lead to more serious diseases such as heart attack or stroke.
"Relatedly, there has been an absence of political engagement with health and climate change in Australia in the same period", it said.
In an accompanying editorial with the report it says, "Today's babies, by adulthood, will live on a planet without an Arctic".
"In less than one week we've seen two major reports that highlight many ways climate change is harming our health. We see them coming at communities all at the same time".