The poor, the elderly and people without health insurance especially vulnerable, study says
WEDNESDAY, July 9 (HealthDay News) -- Every summer, an estimated 6,200 Americans are hospitalized for heat exposure. In 2005, about 180 of those people who were hospitalized died, according to the latest News and Numbers from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Severe heat exposure, which is called hyperthermia, occurs when the body's temperature rises to 106 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Symptoms of heat exposure can include nausea, vomiting, weakness, headache and muscle cramps.
In severe cases, called heat stroke, victims may suffer from a rapid pulse, difficulty breathing, mental confusion, seizure and even a coma, according to AHRQ.
Those at highest risk are the poor, the elderly and people lacking health insurance, according to an AHRQ analysis. That analysis, based on 2005 data, found that:
For advice on how to protect yourself from heat exposure, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
-- HealthDay staff
SOURCE: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, news release, July 9, 2008
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