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Climate change and global health information and resources

Global climate change is one of the most pressing environmental and public health concerns of the 21st century. Major human health impacts of climate change are anticipated to occur due to associated changes in the environment, such as direct effects from heat, sea level rise, changes in precipitation resulting in flooding and drought, more intense hurricanes and storms, degraded air quality, and increased exposure to toxic environmental pollutants including persistent organic pollutants, metals and pesticides. A better understanding of how climate change will directly and indirectly alter human health is critical to reduce or prevent illness and death.

The NIH has studied this issue and developed a report, A Human Health Perspective on Climate Change, outlining research needs for eleven categories of consequences of climate change for human health, including asthma and respiratory disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease and stroke, foodborne diseases and nutrition, human developmental effects, mental health and stress-related disorders, neurological diseases, vectorborne and zoonotic diseases, waterborne diseases, and weather-related morbidity and mortality.

As part of its analysis, NIH surveyed its programs and issued a notice to the research community expressing an interest in supporting climate change research and listing the relevant funding programs if offers. NIH also developed a new program in 2010 specifically devoted to climate change research and awarded an initial round of grants.

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