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Snow-Shoveling Death Toll Hits 18 In Chicago Area

(STMW) -- At least 18 people across the Chicago area have died from causes related to shoveling snow since last weekend's historic storm, according to authorities.

The snowstorm, fifth-largest in Chicago history, left more than 19 inches of snow in some places, weather officials said.

Since 6 p.m. Saturday, 12 Cook County residents—11 men and one woman—died from causes associated with shoveling snow, a Cook County medical examiner's office spokesman said previously.

Seven of those who died were in their 60s, three were in their 50s, and two were men in their 40s, according to the medical examiner's office. At least four were from Chicago, two from Oak Lawn and one from Riverdale.

A 75-year-old Carpentersville man died Wednesday at University of Illinois Medical Center after he fell and broke his neck shoveling snow, the medical examiner's office said. Autopsy results showed diabetes and heart disease as secondary factors.

Three other people, all men in their 60s, collapsed and died while shoveling at their homes in west suburban DuPage County on Sunday, according to the coroner's office there.

Two McHenry County residents, both men in their 60s, died of causes related to shoveling snow, according to the north suburban county's coroner's office.

Officials for Kane, Will and Lake counties said no snow shoveling-related deaths had been reported as of Thursday afternoon.

Anyone over 40 and people who are relatively inactive should be especially careful while shoveling snow, according to the National Safety Council. And anyone with a heart ailment should not shovel snow without a doctor's permission.

The organization also recommends taking it slow, stretching out and warming up beforehand, picking up only small amounts at any one time, and taking frequent breaks to avoid injury.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2015. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)




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