Health is key to our well-being, happiness, and general quality of life. It is also important for economic progress and productivity. A person’s health may depend on many factors, such as their income, race, gender, age, existing medical conditions or genetics, occupation, and where they live. Personal choices and social support structures also play a role in a person’s health.
Climate change also affects people’s health in many ways. As the climate changes, more people may be exposed to extreme weather like heat, floods, droughts, storms, and wildfires. These events can cause illness, injury, and even death. Climate change can also lead to more diseases spread by insects and ticks, and it can affect the quality and safety of air, water, and food, including through the spread of harmful bacteria or viruses. In addition, hazards related to climate change can stress people’s mental health. For information on how climate change can affect the health of different groups of people, see Climate Change and Health. (author introduction)