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August 28, 1972

A Perspective on Climate and Man's Health

Author Affiliations

Department of Medicine Tulane University School of Medicine New Orleans

JAMA. 1972;221(9):1050-1051. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200220080020

There is currently considerable discussion concerning environmental pollution. However, climate and weather, important environmental factors that influence the health of the people of America to an even greater extent, receive relatively little attention as health problems. Although pollution may be controlled, climate and weather cannot be, and therefore man cannot escape entirely the stresses of weather and climate. Man must learn to maintain the best possible health in spite of his climate and weather by providing a satisfactory artificial environment (eg, housing with heating, air-conditioners, fans), proper clothing, and healthful working conditions.

The profound effect of climate and weather on man's health is evident, for example, in the millions of people who, each winter, suffer from one or more respiratory illnesses causing much impairment of health, loss of productivity, and even death. Although the healthy are affected, it is the acute and chronically ill and debilitated people who suffer greatest