2019 Sets Record For Heat-Related Deaths In Maricopa County

By Steve Goldstein
Published: Tuesday, May 12, 2020 - 11:54am
Audio icon Download mp3 (9.73 MB)

A record number of 197 people died from heat in Maricopa County last year. That’s an 8% increase from 2018. However, fewer people died indoors.

The Maricopa County Public Health Department used records from the Medical Examiner’s Office to determine that 137 fatalities were directly caused by heat, and another 60 involved heat and other medical issues.

Records also indicated that 70% of heat-related deaths happened in July and August when the combination of heat and monsoon humidity can be brutal.

Three out of every four deaths were men. Two-thirds involved people aged 50 and older.

African Americans and Native Americans had the highest rates of heat-associated deaths based on population percentages.

David Hondula, an assistant professor in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at Arizona State University, studies heat-related deaths. The Show spoke with him to learn what interested him about this new information.

More Stories From KJZZ


Science The Show