Rescheduled: Climate change and health equity: extreme temperatures and mortality in highly urbanized Latin America

Tuesday, March 7, 2023 16:00to17:00

Josiah Kephart, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor | Department of Environmental and Occupational Health | Drexel University

Where: Virtual | Zoom


Climate change and urbanization are rapidly increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme ambient temperatures. Current evidence on the impacts of temperature on health is heavily concentrated in high-income countries. Few studies have examined extreme temperatures and health in Latin America, where 80% of residents live in urban areas and extreme temperatures are projected to dramatically increase in the coming decades. This seminar will highlight evidence from the Salud Urbana en América Latina (Urban Health in Latin America) project. We examined over 15 million deaths from 326 cities in nine countries in Latin America to estimate the contributions of daily ambient temperature to cause- and age-specific mortality. We found that a substantial proportion of deaths are attributable to hot and cold ambient temperatures and that older populations are particularly vulnerable. We will also discuss findings on the role of socioeconomic status as a modifier of the temperature-mortality relationship. Together, this evidence makes a compelling case for policymakers to prioritize actions to prevent present and future health risks of extreme temperatures and highlights the importance of conducting context-specific analyses of climate change and health in understudied low- and middle-income countries.

Learning Objectives

  • Review the state of evidence on extreme temperatures and health globally and summarize differences in findings and strength of evidence between global regions
  • Describe methods and findings from studies of extreme temperatures and cause-specific mortality in 326 Latin American cities
  • Discuss knowledge gaps in climate change and health in low- and middle-income countries and the importance of context-specific analyses in understudied regions

Speaker Bio

Josiah Kephart, PhD, MPH is an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and the Urban Health Collaborative at the Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University. Kephart’s research focuses on understanding the contribution of climate change, air pollution, and the urban environment to health disparities in Latin America and the US. He received an MPH and PhD in environmental epidemiology and exposure science from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where he was awarded an NIH Fogarty Global Health Fellowship.

Presented as part of the Epidemiology Seminar Series

The Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health Seminar Series is a self-approved Group Learning Activity (Section 1) as defined by the maintenance of certification program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

Back to top