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*The INJURY UPDATE is a publication of the Injury Prevention Service, Oklahoma State Department of Health. This and other IPS information may be obtained from the Injury Prevention Service, Oklahoma State Department of Health, 1000 N.E. 10th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73117, 405-271-3430 or 1-800-522-0204 (in Oklahoma). IPS publications are also available at http://ips.health.ok.gov. May 31, 2012 Heat-related Deaths in Oklahoma, 2011 In the United States, approximately 400 people die each year from extreme heat and 200 additional deaths occur with heat as a contributing factor. Heat-related illness includes conditions resulting from hyperthermia. These conditions range from heat cramps and heat exhaustion to heat stroke. Hyperthermia is a condition in which improper thermoregulation causes the body’s temperature to increase. In the cases where hyperthermia was listed as a contributing factor, cardiovascular disease was the number one cause of death. Numerous factors inhibit the body’s ability to cool itself during extremely hot weather. High humidity prevents sweat from evaporating quickly, subsequently preventing the body from quickly releasing heat. Other conditions that can limit the body’s ability to regulate temperature include advanced age and young age (children ages 0-4), obesity, dehydration, fever, poor circulation, heart disease, sunburn, prescription or illicit drug use, and alcohol use. According to data from the Oklahoma Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, 33 heat-related deaths occurred in Oklahoma from May to September 2011. Persons ranged in age from 3 to 91 years of age; the average age was 52 years. Deaths increased with increasing age. Eighty-two percent of persons were male and 18% were female. Among males, 67% were age 45 and older; 26% were age 65 and older. Among females, half of the deaths were among those 65 and older (Figure 1). Seventy-three percent of persons were white, 9% African-American, 9% Hispanic, and 9% Native American. For cases with a known date of injury (26), the number of cases peaked during the week of July 31 to August 6. The weekly average high temperatures in central Oklahoma ranged from 77°F in May to 109°F in August (Figure 2). Figure 1. Heat-Related Deaths by Age and Sex, Oklahoma, 2011 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 0-4 5-9 10-14 15-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+ Number of Deaths Age Male Female Figure 2. Heat-Related Deaths and Average High Temperatures* by Week, Oklahoma, 2011 70 80 90 100 110 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Average High Temperature Number of Deaths Week Number of Deaths Temperature *The average high temperature for the week was used for Norman, OK, because it is centrally located.
|Okla State Agency||
Health, Oklahoma State Department of
|Okla Agency Code||
|Title||Injury update, 05/31/2012|
|Alternative title||Heat-related deaths in Oklahoma, 2011|
Oklahoma. Injury Prevention Service.
|Purpose||According to data from the Oklahoma Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, 33 heat-related deaths occurred in Oklahoma from May to September 2011.|
|For all issues click||
|Digital Format||PDF, Adobe Reader required|
|ODL electronic copy||Downloaded from agency website: http://www.ok.gov/health/documents/Heat_Deaths_2011.pdf|
|Rights and Permissions||This Oklahoma state government publication is provided for educational purposes under U.S. copyright law. Other usage requires permission of copyright holders.|