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09 Jan 2015: Most Physicians Already Seeing
Health Effects of Climate Change in Patients

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health effects of climate change

Sarfaty, et al./ATS
Results of survey on climate change and patient health
In a survey of physicians in the American Thoracic Society (ATS), the majority of doctors said their patients were already experiencing medical conditions associated with climate change and that physicians should be educating their patients and policy makers about climate-related health effects. Seventy-seven percent of ATS physicians — a group of doctors specializing in respiratory health and critical care — who responded said air pollution associated with climate change is exacerbating chronic conditions such as asthma in their patients. Nearly 60 percent reported increases in allergies from plants or mold and injuries from severe weather related to climate change. Many of the physicians who responded to the survey said exposure to smoke from wildfires had caused or worsened lung conditions in their patients, and changes in precipitation and weather patterns seemed to be affecting patients as well, the Huffington Post reports. Overall, 89 percent of the physicians believe that climate change is happening, and 65 percent believe it is relevant to patient care, the survey found.


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