Medications, lifestyle are also contributing factors to hyperthermia, agency warns
SUNDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Because aging affects the body's ability to respond to summer heat, older adults are particularly at risk for heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke, heat fatigue, heat cramps and heat exhaustion, according to the U.S. National Institute on Aging (NIA).
Factors that may increase the risk of heat-related illnesses include:
The risk of heat-related illnesses can also be increased by lifestyle factors such as hot living quarters, lack of transportation, overdressing, visiting overcrowded places, and not understanding weather conditions.
Older adults, particularly those at special risk, should stay indoors on hot and humid days, especially when there is an air pollution alert in effect, the NIA recommends. Those without fans or air conditioners should go to air-conditioned places such as shopping malls, movie theaters, libraries or cooling centers operated by social service agencies and senior citizen centers. If possible, older adults should get family or friends to give them rides to air-conditioned locations.
If you suspect someone is suffering from a heat-related illness, the NIA recommends the following:
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about heat illness and the elderly.
-- Robert Preidt
SOURCE: U.S. National Institute on Aging, news release, July 31, 2008
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