Article by Jessica Allen in Public Health Today, September 2011
EVERY year we have a public health emergency in England – called winter. Every year, the increase in deaths during winter months is measured, assessed, published and analysed, and every year the figures are shocking.
In London, an average of 3,710 Londoners die every year as a result of living in a cold home, and there are over 23,000 additional emergency hospital admissions and almost 93,000 additional outpatient attendances. In England in 2008/9 there were 35,000 excess winter deaths. Many of these deaths and illnesses are preventable. The elderly have the greatest increase in deaths in winter, with 20,200 more deaths in the UK among those aged over 75 years during the winter of 2005/6 compared with non-winter months.
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