Climate Change and Non-Communicable Diseases in BRICS: What the future could look like for Cardiovascular Diseases in India and South Africa
Shreya Shrikhande, University of Basel
Climate change is predicted to exacerbate over the coming years and alter the global landscape thereby affecting human health. Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the current leading cause of deaths globally and this number is predicted to increase even more over the coming decades. In India, ischemic heart disease is currently the leading cause of mortality with a 53% rise in reported cases and a 10.7% rise in South Africa. Thus, it is important to determine whether the inevitable changing climate will also be a major contributor to the incidences and mortalities caused by CVDs. The regions on focus will be the Andaman Islands and Cape Town, both part of BRICS countries and emerging economies in a unique position to play a prominent role in shaping future public health policies. Both sites are coastal regions and thus highly sensitive to the effects of climate change. This project will focus on reviewing how climate has thus far affected CVD incidence and mortality and then combine this data with climate projection models to predict how various scenarios of climate change patterns will affect CVDs. Lastly, strategic adaptive solutions to strengthen health system resilience will be discussed with stakeholders, including reviewing current policies.
Keywords: climate change, cardiovascular diseases, non-communicable diseases, climate change-health
Before beginning my doctoral studies, I completed my Bachelors in Biomedical Science (Hons) from Royal Holloway, University of London after which I went on to obtain a Masters degree in Cardiovascular Science from Georg August, University of Göttingen. Presently, I am enrolled in the PhD Epidemiology program at the University of Basel. I will undertake my research work at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH). My project is focused on trying to understand how climate change has cardiovascular and related pulmonary diseases in India and South Africa and what the pattern might look like under projected future climate conditions.