In a normal year, approximately 175 Americans die from extreme heat. Young children, elderly people, and those who are sick or overweight are more likely to become victims.
Between 1936 and 1975, nearly 20,000 people succumbed to the effects of heat and solar radiation.
Because men sweat more than women, men are more susceptible to heat illness because they become more quickly dehydrated.
Sunburn can significantly slow the skin's ability to release excess heat.
People living in urban areas may be at a greater risk from the effects of a prolonged heat wave than people living in rural regions. An increased health problem can occur when stagnant atmospheric conditions trap pollutants in urban areas, thus adding contaminated air to excessively hot temperatures.