Heat a factor in 11 Chicago-area deaths

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Autopsy reports released Sunday show the recent heat wave was a factor in 11 deaths in the Chicago area.

CHICAGO (AP) — Autopsy reports released Sunday show the recent heat wave was a factor in 11 deaths in the Chicago area.

The Cook County medical examiner’s office concludes that three more people died because of the extreme heat. Prior to Sunday the death toll was eight.

Two Chicagoans died of heart disease, but a secondary cause was heat stress. Also, a 68-year-old man was the third heat-related death.

Authorities say the majority of the people killed by the heat had pre-existing conditions that were exacerbated by high temperatures. The last similar heat wave in the region in 1995 resulted in more than 750 deaths over a five-day period.

The Chicago area has since developed a heat response plan that includes more cooling centers and well-being checks to the elderly.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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