Climate change and respiratory health: current evidence and knowledge gaps

Expert Rev Respir Med. 2013 Aug;7(4):349-61. doi: 10.1586/17476348.2013.814367.


Climate change is a key driver of the accelerating environmental change affecting populations around the world. Many of these changes and our response to them can affect respiratory health. This is an expert opinion review of recent peer-reviewed literature, focused on more recent medical journals and climate-health relevant modeling results from non-biomedical journals pertaining to climate interactions with air pollution. Global health impacts in low resource countries and migration precipitated by environmental change are addressed. The major findings are of respiratory health effects related to heat, air pollution, shifts in infectious diseases and allergens, flooding, water, food security and migration. The review concludes with knowledge gaps and research need that will support the evidence-base required to address the challenges ahead.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects
  • Allergens / adverse effects
  • Climate Change*
  • Communicable Diseases / epidemiology
  • Disasters
  • Emigration and Immigration
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects
  • Food Supply
  • Global Health*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / epidemiology
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / diagnosis
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Water Supply
  • Weather


  • Air Pollutants
  • Allergens