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Now, will you support the Green New Deal?! STUDY: ‘More people may be hospitalized with low sodium levels due to climate change’

More people may be hospitalized with low sodium levels due to climate change

by Anna Guildford, Ph.D. on April 1, 2022 — Fact checked by Harriet Pike, Ph.D.

  • Sodium is an electrolyte that is essential for a wide range of body functions.
  • Hyponatremia is a common condition that causes sodium levels in the blood to be lower than normal.
  • A new study has found that more people become hospitalized due to hyponatremia in temperatures above 15 degrees Celcius.
  • With climate change expected to increase temperatures across the world, the study predicts that an increase of 2 degrees Celsius could increase cases of hyponatremia by 13.9%

Excerpts: The retrospective study, published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, included the entire Swedish population over 18 years of age. … 

“[T]he risk of severe hyponatremia appears to increase dramatically above certain temperature thresholds, and [the] elderly (unsurprisingly) are at greatest risk.”

On the hottest days, women and those over 80 were at the highest risk. Those over 80 were 15 times more likely to be hospitalized due to hyponatremia compared to cooler days.

The study estimates that an average increase in temperature of 1 degree Celsius will lead to a 6.3% increase in the incidence of hospitalizations due to hyponatremia. An increase of 2 degrees, according to projections, would result in a 13.9% increase.

“The results suggesting an association with increased hyponatremia hospitalization with global warming are interesting,” he said.