Morbidity from fires, heat and hot substances: Global Burden of Disease data


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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Heat-related incidents resulted in nearly 9 million injuries and more than 120,000 deaths worldwide in 2017, according to research published in the journal Injury Prevention

The global study provides estimates of mortality and morbidity from across 195 countries and territories and is the first of its kind to quantify the totality of injuries resulting from fire, heat and hot substances, not just burns. Other injuries analysed included amputations, open wounds and fractures.

The study showed the leading cause of disability for victims of fire, heat and hot substances is burns affecting less than 20 per cent surface area. Children aged

The authors noted that while at a global level the age-standardised mortality rate significantly declined from 1990 to 2017, regionally there was variability in age-standardised incidence, with some regions experiencing an increase including the high-income Asia Pacific region, while others, such as Eastern Europe, experienced a significant decrease. 

Eight countries accounted for half of all heat-related deaths in 2017, namely: India, China, Russia, United States, Nigeria, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ethiopia.