SYDNEY: Heatwaves over the four hottest months of the year lead to more than 150,000 deaths around the world each year, research released on Wednesday has revealed.

Between 1990 and 2019, heatwave-related excess deaths accounted for 153,078 deaths per year, a total of 236 deaths per ten million residents or 1 per cent of global deaths, according to a study by Monash University in Australia, reported German news agency (dpa).

Researchers examined daily deaths and temperatures from 750 locations across 43 countries as part of the study.

They found while Asia had the highest number of estimated deaths, Europe had the highest population-adjusted rate, at 655 deaths per ten million residents.

At the national level, Greece, Malta, and Italy had the highest excess death ratios.

Overall, the largest estimated rates of heatwave deaths were seen in areas with dry climates and lower-middle incomes, researchers said.

“In the context of climate change, it is crucial to address the unequal impacts of heatwaves on human health. This necessitates a comprehensive approach that not only tackles immediate health risks during heatwaves but also implements long-term strategies to minimise vulnerability and inequality,“ the authors said.

“These findings indicate the potential benefit of government actions to enhance health sector adaptation and resilience, accounting for inequalities across communities.”