Wednesday, March 20, 2013

2012 Had A Record Number of Deaths in Pima County, But No One Is Sure Why

Posted By on Wed, Mar 20, 2013 at 9:15 AM

The Pima County Medical Examiner released its annual report Monday, but according to a county press release, what's striking about the report is that deaths in 2012 went up, but there was a drop in homicides and migrant deaths. So who died?

There were 9,742 deaths in Pima County last year, 8,383 in 2011 and 8,163 in 2010.

From the press release:

Chief Medical Examiner Greg Hess doesn't have an explanation for the spike in deaths, but what he does know with certainty is that last year was busier for his office than at any point in the last decade, with more than 3,200 cases referred to the Forensic Science Center for autopsies, investigations and examinations.

You can read the 2012 report, as well as 2011 and 2010 reports here.

Highlights from the county:

Men accounted for 57 percent of overdose deaths, 73 percent of motor vehicle-related fatalities, 72 percent of the suicides, 64 percent of accident fatalities and 79 percent of homicides. Of migrants who died and later identified, 85 percent were men.

Firearms were used in 65 percent of homicides and 48 percent of suicides.

Homicides went down 13 percent in 2012, with 79 cases, compared to the 91 in 2011 and 93 in 2010. Victims were most frequently men between the ages of 20-29.

Migrant deaths fell below average last year with 157 death compared to record high of 225 deaths in 2010.

Overdose deaths rose in 2012 to 314, from 277 the year previous and 273 in 2010. Oxycodone the number one source of overdoses.

Natural deaths made up 40 percent of death investigated by the Forensic Science Center.

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