Study: Hurricane Katrina claims more elderly victims

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The elderly were most likely to die during Hurricane Katrina, according to a new report, which comes as nursing homes were put to the test during Hurricane Gustav, the worst storm to hit the Gulf Coast in three years.

Katrina killed 971 people in Louisiana, according the report, which has been three years in the making. A total of 40% of victims drowned and 25% received fatal traumas. A total 49% of those killed by the storm were in the age group of 75 and older.

Study authors from both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Louisiana Office of Public Health say that such mortality reports can help agencies determine which populations are in most need of aid during future hurricanes and other natural disasters. The report can be found in the online edition of the journal Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness. Hurricane Gustav made landfall on Labor Day. Only three instances of healthcare facility related deaths have been reported thus far.