Special Issue "Impacts of Climate Change on Women's Health"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Climate Change and Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 June 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. John Balbus
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, United States
Interests: climate change and health; global environmental health; epidemiology; toxicology; risk sciences
Dr. Cecilia Jeanne Sorensen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University of Colorado School of Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, Denver, United States
Interests: climate change; women’s health; global environmental health; strategies for building climate resilience in vulnerable communities through health education and policy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are delighted to announce the production of a Special Issue on the “Impacts of Climate Change on Women’s Health” in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Women, especially those in poverty, face higher risks and experience a greater burden of climate change impacts. This is notably true for health impacts, making climate change a risk multiplier for gender-based health disparities. Climate change affects health through a multitude of mechanisms, including heat, poor air quality, and extreme weather events, as well as through meteorological changes that alter vector-borne disease, reduce water quality, and decrease food security. The health risks associated with these exposure pathways are mediated through physiological, cultural, and socioeconomic vulnerabilities, which differ substantially between men and women. Women also play a vital role in the societal response to climate change and their participation at all levels has been shown to result in greater responsiveness to citizens’ needs. Women’s participation may also increase cooperation across party and ethnic lines, resulting in more substantial and sustainable outcomes.

This Special Issue focuses on both the impacts of climate change on women’s health issues as well as innovative, gender-sensitive solutions that strengthen climate mitigation and adaptation and further health equity at local, regional, and global levels. We welcome manuscripts that address this issue from all disciplines, including but not limited to environmental health, clinical medicine, epidemiology, sociology, political science, psychology, disaster medicine, and more. Potential topics include: women’s specific risk factors for specific climate-related health impacts; gender roles and discrimination and association with increased risk in disaster settings; women’s roles in community-based adaptation; women’s roles in national and international mitigation and adaptation policy development. We invite you to consider submitting your work to this Special Issue, which is anticipated to be published in Fall 2019.

Dr. John Balbus
Dr. Cecilia Jeanne Sorensen
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • climate change mitigation and adaptation
  • women’s health
  • social determinants of health
  • disaster medicine
  • disaster risk reduction
  • social inequality
  • health policy
  • vulnerability

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Wildfire Smoke on Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes in Colorado, 2007–2015
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(19), 3720; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16193720 - 02 Oct 2019
Colorado is regularly impacted by long-range transport of wildfire smoke from upwind regions. This smoke is a major source of ambient PM2.5. Maternal exposure to total PM2.5 during pregnancy has been linked to decreased birth weight and other adverse outcomes, [...] Read more.
Colorado is regularly impacted by long-range transport of wildfire smoke from upwind regions. This smoke is a major source of ambient PM2.5. Maternal exposure to total PM2.5 during pregnancy has been linked to decreased birth weight and other adverse outcomes, although the impact of wildfire smoke contribution has only recently been investigated. The objective of this study was to estimate associations between adverse pregnancy outcomes and ambient wildfire smoke PM2.5. Wildfire smoke PM2.5 exposures were estimated using a previously published method incorporating ground-based monitors and remote sensing data. Logistic regression models stratified by ZIP code and mixed models with random intercept by ZIP code were used to test for associations. The primary outcomes of interest were preterm birth and birth weight. Secondary outcomes included gestational hypertension, gestational diabetes, neonatal intensive care unit admission, assisted ventilation, small for gestational age, and low birth weight. Exposure to wildfire smoke PM2.5 over the full gestation and during the second trimester were positively associated with pre-term birth (OR = 1.076 (μg/m3)−1 [95% CI = 1.016, 1.139; p = 0.013] and 1.132 (μg/m3)−1 [95% CI = 1.088, 1.178]; p < 0.0001, respectively), while exposure during the first trimester was associated with decreased birth weight (−5.7 g/(μg/m3) [95% CI: −11.1, −0.4; p = 0.036]). Secondary outcomes were mixed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Climate Change on Women's Health)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

1. Title: Women Climate Change and Vector Borne Disease

    Authors: Mary Hayden, Kacey Ernst

2. Title: Education, sanitation and internal migration - innovative strategies to climate adaptation in low-middle income countries

    Author: Sujata Saunik

3. Title: Mainstreaming gender into national adaptation plans and vulnerability assessments

    Authors: Kris Ebi, Chris Boyer

4. Title: Climate change and the health of indigenous women

    Author: Sherlie Harper

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