"Superstorm Sandy ripped houses from their foundations, reshaped the Jersey Shore and shuttered countless businesses in October 2012, but now researchers at Rutgers University tell of another devastating consequence: It increased the rate of heart attacks and stroke among people grappling with the disaster, leading to many additional deaths."
Lindy Washburn writes in The Record:
"In one of the first studies of its kind to look at the health effects of an extreme weather event, a team at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School compared heart attacks and strokes and the deaths they caused in the two weeks following the unprecedented storm with the same two-week period in five previous years.
"In the most dramatic finding, researchers found a 22 percent increase in heart attacks — and a 31 percent higher death rate for those patients within a month of being stricken.
“Overall, Sandy likely added 125 cases of MI [myocardial infarctions, or heart attacks] and nearly 70 additional deaths,” the study concluded. “It also likely contributed 36 additional strokes in the most severely hit areas.”
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