Health officials said 8 more heat-related deaths occurred in Maryland, bringing the total for 2012 to 31.

The deaths, reported to the state between July 17 and July 24, include three men between the ages of 45 and 64, one each in Prince George's, Queen Anne's and Washington counties, officials said in its weekly report.

Three men aged 65 or older died, two in Baltimore County and one in Baltimore City.

Two women aged 65 or older also died, one in Baltimore City and one in Anne Arundel County.

Health officials indicated that 7 of these deaths did not occur during the June 29-July 8 heat emergency caused by the derecho storms. No other specifics were given.

There were 34 heat-related deaths in 2011, and 32 in 2010, officials said.

Cases of heat-related deaths generally involve people with underlying health conditions such as heart disease or diabetes.

The heat returned to Maryland this week. Friday's high is forecast to be 97 with heat index up to 105, according to the National Weather Service.

krector@baltsun.com

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