New study: Winter is deadlier than summer

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We’re accustomed to hearing Meteorologists give warnings of extreme heat during the summertime months, but a new study suggests that more people aren’t dying from the heat, or even tornadoes, hurricanes, or flooding. The report just released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 10,649 people died weather-related deaths between 2006 and 2010. But surprisingly an increasing number of those are coming from extreme cold.

Most of us think tornadoes, flash flooding, hurricanes, and lightning are more dangerous and kill more people. But the fatality rate is stable compared to a rising trend of cold deaths. It is likely the rate of death for severe storms is decreasing due to accurate forecasting by Meteorologists and more attention by local news media while more than 2,000 people die each year due to the cold. And that number is increasing.

The risk grows exponentially for those over 65 years of age. Victims at high risk include the homeless, alcoholics, and those who participate in winter sports and activities.

The final tally of fatalities shows that 63% were tied to cold/hypothermia, 31% were caused by heat/heat stroke, and just 6% were blamed on severe storms, flooding, and lightning. The study also shows that men die at a rate three times that of women.

Read the full report here: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr076.pdf

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