Killer heat waves such as the one blamed for 14,800 deaths in France
in 2003 may become more common. Global warming is one part of the
problem. Another part is the growing number of people who are more
vulnerable to the heat because they're older and heavier, the July
issue of the Harvard Health Letter explains.
declines with age, and older sweat glands don't produce as much sweat
as they used to. The sweat that is produced tends to contain more salt,
and lack of salt in the body can lead to sudden drops in blood pressure.
people are also more likely than younger folks to be taking medications
that cause fluid loss (and therefore dehydration), including some
laxatives, furosemide (Lasix) to counteract water retention, and other
diuretics for blood pressure control.
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