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The World in Medicine
October 15, 2003

Heat Wave Deaths

JAMA. 2003;290(15):1984. doi:10.1001/jama.290.15.1984-a

August's deadly heat wave in Europe killed 14 802 individuals in France, the country hit hardest by the scorching temperatures, according to a report released on September 25.

The report, commissioned by the French government, is available (in French) at http://www.inserm.fr/servcom/servcom.nsf/(Web+Startup+Page)?ReadForm&actualite).

Scientists from France's National Institute of Health and Medical Research deduced the death toll by counting the number of deaths that exceeded the number that would have been expected in August. The number of heat-related deaths exceeded the French government's earlier estimate of 11 435, a figure that reflected only the deaths during the first 2 weeks of August, when temperatures peaked.