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The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) has recently published several studies focusing on the impact of climate change on children’s bodies. It is part of a large scale effort to acknowledge the ongoing climate crisis and the consequences this is having on young people around the world. A feature story published in the June 16 edition of NEJM focuses on fossil fuel emissions and its effect on children’s dermatologic, respiratory, and cardiovascular health. Frederica Perera, lead author of the fossil fuel article, says the impact is being felt in more ways than one. “Air pollution is now associated with mental health problems in children in a number of studies in the U.S. and in Europe,” she explains, with anxiety and depression having become the norm. Kari Nadeau, a director of the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford University, says she has also seen the impact of climate change on her youngest patients. “The children coming into my clinic have terrible asthma…they also have blood pressure changes.” Nadeau says those children and young people from low income backgrounds are most vulnerable, with their access to clean air and healthcare being more limited. More information on the commitment NEJM is making to raise awareness of the subject can be found here.

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