ATLANTA -- Men in their prime years outnumber women among heat related deaths, accounting for about two-thirds of those who succumbed to heat in the United States over a recent five-year period, according to a CDC report.
ATLANTA, July 27 -- Men in their prime years outnumber women among heat related deaths, accounting for about two-thirds of those who succumbed to heat in the United States over a recent five-year period, according to a CDC report.
The gender difference disappears in the youngest (14 and younger) and oldest (65 or older) age groups, but stands out clearly among those age 15 to 64, according to George Luber, Ph.D., and colleagues of the CDC's Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects here.
For example, among those age 35 to 44 who died from heat during 1999-2003, about 300 were men and about 100 were women, according to an analysis appearing in the July 28 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).
The CDC analysis comes as the toll from a heat wave in California has topped 80 deaths since July 16.
Highlights of the CDC report, which used death certificate information from the International Classification of Diseases, include:
"Many heat-related deaths, regardless of whether they are associated with chronic medical conditions, are preventable," the editors of MMWR said. "During periods of extreme heat, heat-related illnesses can be prevented by avoiding strenuous outdoor activities, drinking adequate amounts of fluid, avoiding alcohol consumption, wearing lightweight clothing, and using air-conditioning"
Groups at high risk include young children, persons ages 65 or older, persons who do strenuous activities outdoors, and persons with chronic medical conditions, particularly cardiovascular, the editors said.
"During heat waves, young children, older adults, and chronically ill persons should be checked frequently by relatives, neighbors, and caretakers to evaluate their heat exposure, recognize symptoms of heat-related illness, and take appropriate preventive action," they recommended.
"Regardless of the outdoor temperature, parents and other child-care providers should never leave children alone in cars and should ensure that children cannot lock themselves inside enclosed spaces, such as the trunks of automobiles," they said.