Friday, December 12, 2014

Among other Superstorm woes, a jump in heart attacks

"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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