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Contributing Factors For Heat-Related Illness Risks

Do you ever get the feeling that high temperatures and excessive humidity negatively affect you more that it does other people? Chances are it does. There are a number of different factors that can have an impact on how your body responds to high heat and humidity, especially for seniors and those with chronic health problems.


Health Factors Impacting Heat Related Illness Risks:


Poor circulation

Insufficient sweat glands



Heart, lung, or kidney diseases

High blood pressure

Medications – especially diuretics, sedatives, tranquilizers, and certain heart medications


Lifestyle Factors Impacting Heat Related Illness Risks:

Lack of air conditioning

Lack of air circulation

Type and amount of clothing / apparel worn

Drug use

Alcohol use

Caffeine intake


Environmental Factors Impacting Heat Related Illness Risks:

How high the temperatures rise

How high the humidity level is

Level of air pollution

Allergen count


When the temperatures are on the rise, one of the best ways to avoid suffering from heat-related illnesses is to stay hydrated and stay cool. If your home doesn’t have air conditioning, seek out public places that do (like libraries, senior centers, and shopping malls). Carry around a water bottle with cold water to help remind yourself to stay hydrated throughout the day, and make sure to wear sunscreen if you spend time outdoors. If you or someone around you starts to feel faint from the heat, apply cold moist cloths or cold compresses to their skin or help get them into a cool bath/shower, and if necessary, call 911.



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