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Winter Health

 

How does cold weather affect older people? Is the cold a major cause of hypothermia or is that a myth? Professor James Goodwin, Head of Research at Age UK  explains how older people are affected by cold weather.

 

Winter weather advice and information

  • How cold weather affects your health

    Winter weather can bring many risks to you and your family. There's the usual winter coughs, colds and flu, but then there's also risks to your health associated with flooding and storms.

  • Home Energy Check

    Our handypersons will help you prepare for the winter by providing useful tips on saving energy ensuring you are using your heating system efficiently and advising on other winter services 

  • Preparing for winter

    Here are some things you can do to stay safe, keep warm and ward off the winter chills

  • Cold weather alerts

    Cold weather alerts are issued by the Met Office when the winter weather is most likely to significantly impact people's health.

Useful Guides for Winter Warmth

Support our Winter Warmth programme

 

Excess Winter Deaths - Some interesting facts and figures

winter warmthWhat is Excess Winter Deaths (EWD)?
These are deaths which are directly related to the cold weather. These are people who generally have underlying health problems but would not have been expected to die during this period. This is why we call them ‘excess winter deaths’ (EWD).   

Who is at risk?
Many different groups within society can be considered ‘vulnerable’ to the adverse affects of cold weather.However, some people are most at risk of serious illness or even death.

chart

 

These deaths are caused by the cold making underlying health problems much worse for example; heart disease,
strokes and breathing problems. Being too cold can also increase the risk of trips and falls, which can be very dangerous for the elderly and frail.

What are the causes of Excess Winter Deaths?
Evidence suggests a strong link between EWDs and cold homes but not socio-economic deprivation. EWDs do not just occur in the poorest households, all of the most vulnerable are at risk if they live in a cold home.

What were the statistics for 2015/16?
There were an estimated 24,300 excess winter deaths (EWDs) in England and Wales in the 2015/16 winter period.

chartCirculatory diseases were one of the leading causes of death in 2015 and accounted for nearly a quarter of all excess winter deaths. This seasonal effect is not as strong as that seen in respiratory diseases or dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease  was the leading cause of death in 2015 and shows seasonality in mortality rates. The disease accounted for 18% of all excess winter deaths (4,300 out of 24,300 excess deaths) and approximately 23% more deaths from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease occurred in winter months than non-winter months.