Staying Cool: Fans Might Not Benefit Seniors In Extreme Heat

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A small new experiment suggests that electric fans may make older adults hotter, not cooler, during triple-digit heat because they don’t sweat as much.

Researchers had eight seniors sit for two hours in a 107-degree chamber with a 16-inch electric fan one day and without the fan on another. Their heart rates and temperatures rose slightly with the fan.

That may be because age-related changes make seniors sweat less, so fans may just move hot air over their skin rather than cool them off.

The authors caution that the results are not clear cut, though, and they don’t advise anyone to stop using fans in normal hot weather.

The study was published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

(© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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