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The U.S. weather map is starting to look like one giant heat alert: A bright red stripe of temperatures in the 100s covers most of the Great Plains. Humid heat is headed for the Mississippi Valley and the Northeast. The Southwest is still sizzling. Top that off with wildfire smoke, and it’s going to be one rough week for anyone with health problems.

When the air gets this hot, older adults, in particular, struggle. Boston University Professors Deborah Carr and Ian Sue Wing, along with researcher Giacomo Falchetta, explain the risks to watch for – from medications that can make people more sensitive to heat to worsened cognition in people with dementia.

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Stacy Morford

Environment + Climate Editor

Without home cooling, Phoenix’s weeks with temperatures over 110 F in July 2023 became dangerous. Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Extreme heat is particularly hard on older adults, and an aging population and climate change are putting ever more people at risk

Deborah Carr, Boston University; Giacomo Falchetta, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA); Ian Sue Wing, Boston University

Health and climate change researchers explain the risks and why older adults, even those in northern states, need to pay attention.

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