Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The cold kills

Last winter's numbers of winter deaths in Scotland were the highest recorded since 1999/2000, when there was a high level of flu activity.

The National Records of Scotland revealed that 22,011 deaths were registered between December 2014 and March 2015.

While excess winter deaths are linked to low temperatures, hypothermia is not the main cause. Experience shows that the majority of such deaths are due to heart disease, stroke and respiratory illness.

Chief executive of the National Records of Scotland, Tim Ellis, said: "There are always more deaths in the winter in Scotland than in any other season…The underlying causes of most of the additional deaths include respiratory and circulatory diseases, dementia, and Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and other degenerative diseases." 

Excess winter deaths are preventable and today's figures are a damning indictment of our failure to address the scandal of cold homes in this country.

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