Healthplan Spain


Heat-Related Deaths Triple In Spain Compared To Those Of 2021 Health News

The heatwave in Spain this year has been extreme and The Carlos III Health Institute in Madrid has estimated that 30,861 people have lost their lives this year, which is much higher than expected.

Sadly a staggering 3,833 of these have been attributed to the extremely high temperatures registered in July and August, a number that is almost triple the 1,356 that were registered during the same months last year.

According to the Daily Mortality Monitoring System (MoMo), July was the worst month for fatalities with 2,223 people losing their lives from the severe heat. August followed with another 1,610 temperature-related deaths.

The capital of Madrid was the hardest hit, as a 224 percent increase in fatalities was recorded between the months of January and September. Of those deaths, 1,301 were blamed on the heat, 504 in July and 547 in August.

The Balearic Islands followed with 1,195 deaths, an increase from the 746 recorded in 2021. Catalonia was in third place with 711 fatalities, compared to just 100 last year.

According to the latest data, the total of 5,783 deaths from high temperatures already exceeds that of the whole of 2021, when 3,576 people died. In 2020 that figure was even lower at 1,883.

The last published data from MoMo also shows that the number of deaths in June this year, which were attributed to temperatures, stands at 830 people. In May that figure is 57 and 35 have been registered up until September 7.

In contrast, data shows that in January 695 mortalities were caused by low temperatures and in February that number was 215.

Speaking at the Annual Congress of the Spanish Society of Epidemiology, which was held at the end of August in San Sebastian, Julio Diaz, head of the Reference Unit for Climate Change, Health and Urban Environment of the Carlos III Health Institute warned that "If we don't adapt, in Spain there could be up to 13,000 deaths a year instead of the 1,300 annual average that occurred in the period 2000-2009.”

Climate change has become a health problem and experts note that the temperature and pollution increase facilitates the spread of new infectious agents and the aggravation of chronic diseases such as cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and coronary heart disease, which also affect the most vulnerable populations.