Rise in temperature leads to more mental health emergencies, claims study

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Feb 24, 2022, 09:04 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

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An average rise of 8 per cent was seen in emergency hospital visits on days when the temperature was in the top 5 per cent of the ones recorded

A latest study has revealed that higher temperatures increase the number of people suffering from mental health emergencies. Published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, the study states that during the hot summer days, US adults were at an increased risk of visiting emergency rooms for mental health crises. This includes substance use, anxiety, stress, and much more.

An average rise of 8 per cent was seen in emergency hospital visits on days when the temperature was in the top 5 per cent of the ones recorded. The impact can be seen on all types of mental health conditions, including stress, mood and anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, self-harm, and substance use disorders. 

Study lead author Dr Amruta Nori-Sarma, assistant professor of environmental health at BUSPH, in a report by Science Daily said, "Emergency department visits represent some of the costliest interactions within the healthcare system." 

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"Addressing the needs of the most vulnerable to preempt some of these visits can have a positive impact on individual health and costs, as well as preserve healthcare resources for other emergencies."

The biggest increase in the rate of emergency visits was seen across the north of the US by 12 per cent.

As per the lead author, the new findings comes as a cue for healthcare providers. This will help them in preparing an increased need for mental health services during times when extreme heat is predicted. "When heatwaves are forecasted, clinicians and public health experts may use our findings to prepare especially for outreach to patients with existing mental health conditions," she said. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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