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Why is one older person dying every seven minutes during the winter?

Special tip o’ the hat to “A New Little Ice Age Has Started“.

Nordic countries have much harsher conditions in the cold months, yet mortality rates are lower than in the UK

Dawn Foster — The Guardian — January 20, 2016

Over the last four winters, according to the latest official figures, nearly 120,000 people in England and Wales have died of cold weather, or factors associated with cold weather such as a virulent strain of influenza. But campaigners argue that these excess winter deaths, defined as the difference between the number of deaths that occur each winter (from December to March) and the average number of deaths during the preceding four months (August to November) and the subsequent four months (April to July), have more to do with poverty than freezing temperatures.

“Successive governments have simply ignored the problem of winter deaths among the older population and seem to have a policy of crossing their fingers and hoping things will improve,” says Dot Gibson, the general secretary of campaign group, the National Pensioners Convention (NPC).

And excess winter deaths seem to be increasing: despite last year’s mild winter, an estimated 43,900 excess winter deaths occurred – a rise of 140% on the previous year and the worst statistics since 1999-2000. Female deaths leapt nearly 250% in a single year, from 10,250 to 25,500 between 2013-14 and 2014-15. Poverty rates for women remain higher than for men, which compounds health problems: the thinktank New Policy Institute has reported increases in life expectancy for men, especially in the most deprived areas, are higher than for women. So women remain in poverty, while men’s life expectancy increases. Poverty among female pensioners is 5%-8% higher than it is among male pensioners, and poverty is highest among the over-75s.  Continue reading here….

Related article:  The UK fuel poverty crisis can, and must, be fixed.

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