In March 2004, our Vital Statistics team produced a special report that examined deaths from exposure to heat in Arizona between 1992-2002. The report attracted a wide audience well beyond Arizona’s borders. It provided about deaths from heat exposure and analyzed heat mortality occurring in the State to both residents and non-residents (e.g. migrants crossing the desert).
We’ve just completed an update of the original report and it’s sure to get a lot of attention. The new report Deaths from Exposure to Excessive Natural Heat Occurring in Arizona, 1992-2009 updates and expands the original report, and includes information about when and where people die from heat exposure.
From 1992 to 2009, 1,485 people died from exposure to heat in Arizona. Undocumented persons crossing Arizona’s border with Mexico accounted for 666 of the deaths, with the vast majority (464) occurring in the eight years between 2000 and 2007. Meanwhile, there were 646 deaths from hyperthermia among Arizona residents or 36 deaths on average per year in 1992-2009.
I won’t go into the details of the findings here, but if you’re interested in the subject, you should definitely take a look at the report, including the appendices. Also, if you work with Stakeholder groups that conduct public health or safety activities you should forward the link so they can use these data for their intervention work.