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Climate, extreme weather and the health of older people: An umbrella review and framework for action

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Peer-reviewed

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Authors

Mavrodaris, A 

Abstract

Background: Older people are affected more severely and unequally by disturbances in climate and ecosystems. Directly, from extreme weather events such as heat waves, flooding, and severe storms; and indirectly, through droughts and compromised water safety catalysing food insecurity, displacement and poverty. Limited understanding of the impacts and interfaces of climate and extreme weather on older people and subgroups at potential increased risk hinders our ability to plan and respond effectively to protecting older populations as climatic instability continues. Objectives: To progress this agenda, our work aims to i) systematically assess the health impacts of extreme weather on older people ii) synthesise the evidence to examine interfaces and subgroups at increased risk iii) develop a framework to inform responses. Methods: An umbrella review is being conducted to systematically examine and synthesise the links between extreme weather events and health impacts on older people. The review will include original or primary research published between 2013 and 2023. Electronic searches will be conducted in Medline via Ovid, Embase via Ovid, Web of Science, CINAHL via EbscoHost, Cochrane Library, ASSIA via Proquest and PsycINFO via EbscoHost. Reference lists of retrieved articles will be checked for further relevant studies and experts in the field will be consulted to identify any further potentially relevant papers. Quality will be assessed using STROBE checklists and a narrative synthesis of the results conducted. Findings: The results of this review will provide a comprehensive and up-to-date understanding of the impacts of climate instability and extreme weather events on the health and wellbeing of older people. It will be used to develop a framework demonstrating the interfaces between climate, extreme weather and the health of older people which will inform guidance on which subgroups are at increased risk and which actions and responses are needed.

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Oxford University Press