Intended for healthcare professionals


Number of excess winter deaths is three times as high in coldest homes as in warmest

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 11 May 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d2910
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

Children, teenagers, and elderly people are most affected by cold homes and fuel poverty, concludes a new report written by the team set up to review health inequalities, headed by Michael Marmot.

The report, commissioned by the charity Friends of the Earth, found that excess winter deaths are almost three times higher in the coldest quarter of housing than in the warmest quarter.

The report reviews the existing evidence of the direct and indirect effects on health of living in fuel poverty and cold housing. It found that most excess winter deaths among people in this group are attributable to either cardiovascular diseases (40% of deaths) or respiratory diseases (33%).

Children living in cold homes are more than twice as likely to have respiratory problems as children living in …

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