Develop Strategies Instead of Catastrophizing
With this set of publications (1–4), the Deutsches Ärzteblatt jumps onto the train of climate activists, apparently out of fear of arriving late and to avoid later accusations. It is nothing new that the number of cardiovascular events and heart attacks can increase in hot weather. What is new is the attempted connection to climate change. However, the fact that living organisms can adapt to changing climatic conditions seems to have been completely overlooked.
The authors (1) predict an increase in cases of heart attacks, by 0.1% to 0.7%. However, if one looks at the confidence intervals (for instance, [–87; 257]), it is clear that what is predicted here is not necessarily what will happen.
The conclusion that findings suggest that we require measures to mitigate climate change in order to reach the Paris Agreement‘s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 °C is completely absurd.
An article has be to recognized completely as a work of climate advocacy, in the line of the “Fridays for Future” movement, when it states “healthcare professionals should be at the forefront of the battle against climate change.” Where should this lead? Should we again use glass syringes on the wards and in practices?
Instead of constantly catastrophizing, it would be useful to have articles that address the medical treatment of diseases that may eventually occur more frequently due to climatic changes.
The articles on climate change that take up over 25 pages in the Deutsches Ärzteblatt (1–4) would at best be worth mentioning in the sections Randnotiz (“Other News”) or Studien im Fokus (“Research in Focus”). I do not see how they benefit my everyday work.
Praxis für Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Heilkunde, Berlin, Germany
|1.||Chen K, Breitner S, Wolf K, et al.: Projection of temperature-related myocardial infarction in Augsburg, Germany: moving on from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2019; 116: 521–7 VOLLTEXT|
|2.||Aghdassi SJS, Schwab F, Hoffmann P, Gastmeier P: The association of climatic factors with rates of surgical site infections—17 years‘ data from hospital infection surveillance. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2019; 116: 529–36 VOLLTEXT|
|3.||Leyk D, Hoitz J, Becker C, Glitz KJ, Nestler K, Piekarski C: Health risks and interventions in exertional heat stress. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2019; 116: 537–44 VOLLTEXT|
|4.||Nowak D: Global warming—the German picture. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2019; 116: 519–2 VOLLTEXT|