LDH report shows 3,000 Louisianans hospitalized from heat-related illness from 2010-2020

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A new report shows an average of nearly 3,000 Louisianans were hospitalized or treated every year due to heat-related illness from 2010-2020. The findings come from the Louisiana Department of Health to provide communities with accurate and reliable data on the impacts of extreme heat.  Spokesperson Dr. Alicia Van Doren says disparities in the study show shows gender and race being disproportionately affected.

“Significant difference between men and women.  A lot of the work outdoors that is strenuous is male dominated. And then black men have one and a half times the visits as their counterparts.”

Men accounted for over 80 percent of all cases. Parishes with the highest rates of heat-related hospitalizations were clustered around the Central and Northwest regions of the state. Van Doren says knowing the symptoms of heat stroke and heat exhaustion is important for prevention.

“If you’re sweating excessively and you start to feel faint that’s something to be aware of. If you start to feel lightheaded or you notice swelling in your legs those are signs you should be aware of.”

Van Doren urges residents to avoid extreme heat but if you must be outside…

“Taking off for breaks out of direct sunlight and minimizing physical activities. Bodies are like biochemical furnaces. You’re always generating heat.”

The report is part of a CDC program through 2026. For resources, tips, and reports, visit ldh.la.gov/page/4817

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