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June 10, 1998

Cocaine Use and Death During Heat Waves

JAMA. 1998;279(22):1828-1829. doi:10.1001/jama.279.22.1828

The heavy toll in human lives claimed by heat waves is increasingly evident in the medical literature. During the heat wave of 1980 in St Louis and Kansas City, Mo, 308 persons more than the number expected to die during that period lost their lives. At the worst of the heat wave, daily mortality in St. Louis increased to 3 times the usual rate.1 More recently, in the summer of 1995 in Chicago, Ill, severe heat-related mortality claimed more than 700 victims, and daily mortality peaked at more than 5 times the usual rate.2

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