Intended for healthcare professionals


Climate crisis threatens gains in life expectancy, report warns

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 14 November 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6472
  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

If the world follows a “business as usual pathway” in relation to the climate emergency, a child born today will face a world that is on average 4°C warmer by their 71st birthday—putting their health under threat at every stage of their lives, a global report on health and climate change has warned.1

As temperatures rise harvests will shrink, threatening food security and driving up food prices in the decades ahead, said the Lancet Countdown report. Infants and small children will be among the worst affected by malnutrition and related health problems such as stunted growth, weak immune systems, and long term developmental problems.

Nick Watts, executive director of the Lancet initiative, said, “The damage done in early childhood is persistent and pervasive, with health consequences lasting for a …

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