Hyperthermia (cont.)

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

Who is at risk of heat-related illness?

Comment on this

Those at greatest risk of heat-related illness include:

  • infants and children up to four years of age,
  • people 65 years of age or older,
  • people who are overweight,
  • people who overexert during outdoor work or exercise,
  • people with mental illness, and
  • people who are chronically ill or on certain medications.

Infants and children up to four years of age are very sensitive to the effects of high temperatures and rely on others to regulate their environment and to provide adequate fluid intake. Moreover, they have a higher metabolic rate and inefficient sweating compared to adults.

People 65 years of age or older may not compensate for heat stress efficiently, and are less likely to sense and respond to changes in temperature. The elderly population also is at a higher risk because they usually have other pre-existing medical conditions, and they often take medications that can make them more vulnerable to dehydration (for example, diuretics).

Overweight individuals may be prone to heat-related illness because of their tendency to retain more body heat.

Any health condition that causes dehydration makes the body more susceptible to heat-related illness. If you or someone you know is at higher risk, it is important to drink plenty of fluids, avoid overexertion, and get your doctor or pharmacist's advice about medications being taken for:

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/23/2014

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Heat-Related Illness - Causes Question: What are the triggers or causes of your heat-related illness? How do you avoid these triggers?
Heat-Related Illness - Prevention Question: If you are prone to heat-related illness, how do you prevent an occurrence?
Heat-Related Illness - Risk Question: Share your experience with heat-related illness risk.
Heat-Related Illness - Symptoms Question: What were your symptoms associated with a heat-related illness?
Heat-Related Illness - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with heat-related illness.

STAY INFORMED

Get the Latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!