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Government and ministries Media

Hot weather is a health risk, in particular to older people and those with long-term illness

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
25.7.2019 9.13
Press release

The weather in Finland is currently exceptionally hot. Older people and people with long-term illness are particularly vulnerable to adverse effects of heatwaves. With age, the ability of the body to regulate its own temperature weakens and the risk of dehydration increases. People over 65 of age are the most vulnerable risk group.

According to research results, hot weather increases deaths from heart diseases and diseases of the respiratory system. If the temperature climbs to over the optimal level (240C), mortality can increase by 2–4% per each degree of temperature.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health reminds employees working in services for older people or in institutional care, that clients’ and patients’ wellbeing must be secured during heatwaves.  

Systematic approach and foresight are important: making contact with home care clients, organising more day activities for older people and, when necessary, arranging cooler premises open for all.

Municipalities can also provide more general information on how the adverse effects of hot weather can be prevented or reduced.

The website of the National Institute for Health and Welfare provides information on the prevention of the adverse effects of hot weather:

More information:


Katri Makkonen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 163 592
Jari Keinänen, Director, tel. +358 295 163 311
Their email addresses are in the format [email protected]

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