Heatwaves: What do they do to the body and who is at risk?

There are about 2,000 deaths caused by high temperatures in England every year.

Most of these will be heart attacks and strokes caused by the strain of trying to keep body temperatures stable.

The higher death rate starts to kick in once the thermometer passes 25C-26C.

However, the evidence suggests the deaths tend to be caused by higher temperatures in spring or early summer rather than “peak summer”.

This could be because we start to change our day-to-day behaviour as summer progresses and we get more used to dealing with the heat.

The evidence from previous heatwaves is the increase in deaths happens very quickly – within the first 24 hours of the heatwave.

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