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August 23, 1995

Probe of Heat Wave Deaths Under Way

JAMA. 1995;274(8):595-596. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530080011003

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WHEN FEDERAL epidemiologists arrived in Chicago, Ill, late last month to investigate the city's massive heat-related death toll, Cook County Medical Examiner Edmund Donoghue, MD, made their work a bit easier.

He handed over a computer disk containing names, ages, addresses, and the cause of death of hundreds who succumbed during mid-July's record-high temperatures in a city better known for snowscapes and heart-stopping cold.

"Usually they just get a story about what happened. This will speed up their analysis," Donoghue said as investigators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, Ga, sifted through the data.

See also page 602.

Chicago's heat wave and the CDC study will yield insight into heat-related mortality for some time to come. An initial report on demographics and descriptions of the deaths is in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. More in-depth reports will focus on identifying risk factors and preventing such

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