Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Holly Levine, MD


Background: Global climate change has been occurring at an unprecedented rate and is damaging to human health. With women having specific health care needs, this literature review examines the relationship between women’s health (including maternal health) and global climate change through subtopics including global temperature and heat waves, carbon dioxide emissions and air pollution, natural disasters and extreme weather events, malnutrition and food insecurity, water supply and resource scarcity, and changing infectious disease patterns.

Methods: A literature search was conducted across several online databases, predominantly PubMed, for articles related to global climate change and its role in women’s health. The majority of the references are from within the past decade. Discussion: Based on the literature review, global climate change has been found to play a significant role in women’s and maternal health and is disproportionately impacting the physical and psychological health of women. With the cause of global climate change being deemed largely anthropogenic, there have been numerous gender-based solutions proposed for this vulnerable population.

Conclusion: Global climate change is simply another force working in combination with long-standing social and cultural gender roles to negatively impact the well-being of women. The suggested gender-based solutions are a good start in combating these detrimental health impacts but have yet to be universally implemented worldwide. Despite an increase in research on this topic throughout recent years, more targeted efforts are needed to devise cost effective solutions with an emphasis on the developing world where these special populations are enduring additional health risks.


SC 11.PAS.2020.Samz.M