In the report released Thursday, the coroner division of the Sheriff's Department reported a total of 18,915 deaths in Orange County last year.
Some 7,106 deaths were reported to the coroner's office, which then investigated 5,093 of those cases and performed 1,654 autopsies. Here is what the coroner found as the cause of death:
- Natural causes – 5,954 – 84%
- Accidents (including drug overdose) – 738 – 10%
- Suicide – 298 – 4%
- Homicide – 63 – 1%
- Undetermined – 53 – 1%
Throughout the county there were 354 deaths from dug overdoses. Deaths from illicit drug use are declining, while deaths from prescription overdoses now outnumber those from illicit drugs three-to-one.
The report said use of firearms continues to be the most common means of suicide and homicide in the county, with hanging second in cases of suicide.
The complete 2012 Coroner Report can be viewed online at http://ocsd.org/divisions/prof/coroner/stats.