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Study: Cold, not heat, kills more in Florida

More people die in Florida from the cold than from the heat, according to a new National Weather Service study.

Between 1979 and 1997, 113 people died in Florida from the cold, while 97 died from the heat.

Meteorologist James Lushine conducted the statewide study and its findings will be presented at a scientific conference in Washington, D.C., next month, the Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale reported in its Sunday editions.

Lushine said the National Weather Service has kept track of weather-related deaths since 1959, but that this is the first comprehensive study of such deaths.

His data on how many people die as a direct result of temperature extremes will be used to warn people of dangerous temperature situations, such as unexpected heat waves or extended cold spells.

"We'll be able to refine and alter our criteria for issuing advisories, either for hot or cold," he said.

His study found that of the 210 people who died, 155 were male and 55 were female.