Heart failure leading local killer | SummitDaily.com

Heart failure leading local killer

Jane Reuter

SUMMIT COUNTY – Local mortician Justin Stephens has said people commonly ask him if people really die in Summit County.

“They think it’s like Disneyland, that everyone who lives here is young and happy and healthy,” Stephens said.

Coroner Dave Joslin can tell them differently.

In 2001, 50 people died in Summit County, and more of them than not were locals.

Joslin has been writing annual coroner’s reports for five years, and he doesn’t see anything unusual in the 2001 synopsis.

“I don’t know if there is such a thing as an average year, but there are no big surprises,” he said. “There were more resident deaths than out-of-county deaths. That’s a little bit surprising. But there was nothing really significant on types or manners (of deaths), nothing really different from previous years.”

Twenty-seven of those who died were Summit County residents; 23 were not.

The leading cause of death: heart failure. Nineteen of the 50 died of it.

Nationally, the leading cause of death in 2000 was heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The second-most common cause of death in 2001 was suicide, with five dying of it. What’s potentially alarming about that statistic is that four of the five were young men, ranging in age from 17 to 25.

Four people died of cancer and another four in motor vehicle accidents, tied as the third-most common cause of death.

And three died of cirrhosis or esanguination (blood loss), the fourth leading cause of death in Summit County. Two of those who died of blood loss suffered their fatal injuries while skiing on local slopes.

Jane Reuter can be reached at 668-3998, ext. 229, or by e-mail at jreuter@summitdaily.com.

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