Extreme Heat Lines Up With Spikes In Stress, Birth Problems, California Experts Find

Boy with hands cupped beneath a spigot.

"Most people find long spells of hot weather irritating or fatiguing. A growing body of research shows climate change may actually be causing psychological distress and other health problems.

"Maithili Ramachandran, a public policy scholar at the University of California, Riverside, is part of a team of researchers comparing the relationship of heat waves, zip codes, and health symptoms. She said they found higher incidences of stress, anxiety and depression during hot periods, even after controlling for socioeconomic factors. The study authors controlled for gender, age and income.

"They found the correlation is strongest during strings of warm nights. Ramachandran said that’s because the cool of evening helps the body rest and recuperate."

Author: Sammy Caiola

Outlet: Capital Public Radio.