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21 February 2007

Overheating can be a killer

Types of heat illness range from minor to severe, including painful heat cramps to potentially deadly heat stroke, says US Federal Occupational Health.

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Types of heat illness range from minor to severe, including painful heat cramps to potentially deadly heat stroke, says US Federal Occupational Health. Don't get burned by heat-related illness this summer.

Types of heat illness range from minor to severe, including painful heat cramps to potentially deadly heat stroke, says US Federal Occupational Health.

Some groups at greater risk
Certain people are most at risk of suffering heat-related illnesses. That includes people over age 65, young children, and overweight and obese people. Those with blood or sweat-related illnesses are also at greater risk. That includes people with low blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, dehydration or malnutrition.

Men are more at risk than women. That's because men sweat more than women, causing them to dehydrate more quickly.

How your cooling system works
Heat-related illnesses occur when your body temperature control systems overload and your body can no longer cool itself, the CDC says.

Your body sheds heat in different ways: by varying the rate and depth of blood circulation; by sweating; and even by panting. However, once the air temperature reaches 35 degrees Celsius, your body relies on sweating to control its internal temperature, says the US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.

Sweating it
High humidity gums up your sweating cooling system. Sweating relies on evaporation to remove the moisture from your skin and cool you down. When there's high humidity, there's a great deal more water vapour in the air. That reduces the amount of evaporation that can take place to keep you cool. – (HealthDayNews)

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