The real toll

Another Portland heat wave has come and gone. Last night we got to sleep with the windows open, which was divine as always.

While we were sweltering through 100 degrees again on Friday and Saturday, the New York Times ran an interesting story on the death toll from the 116-degree ordeal of early summer. The statistics on deaths in the Pacific Northwest during that miserable stretch show an increase in mortality far beyond the official tally. 

​​During the deadly heat wave that blanketed Oregon and Washington in late June, about 600 more people died than would have been typical, a review of mortality data for the week of the crisis shows.

The number is three times as high as the states’ official estimates of heat-related deaths so far...

“When it’s really hot outside, deaths from heat stroke certainly increase,” said Kate Weinberger, an environmental epidemiologist at the University of British Columbia, “but deaths from all sorts of other conditions increase as well,” including from cardiovascular and respiratory disease.

The whole thing is well worth reading, if you can get past the paywall, here.