Winter deaths surge

An estimated 43,900 excess winter deaths occurred in England and Wales in 2014/15 – the highest number since 1999/00 with 27% more people dying in the winter months compared with the non-winter months, according to figures just released by Office for National Statistics (25 November 2015)

Four in every five deaths (82%) occurred among people aged 75 and over. There were an estimated 36,300 excess winter deaths in this age group in 2014/15, compared with 7,700 in people under 75.

Respiratory diseases were the underlying cause of death in more than a third of all excess winter deaths in 2014/15.

Excess winter deaths for men and women more than doubled in just one year, with more deaths among women than men. Male excess winter deaths increased from 7,210 to 18,400, and female deaths from 10,250 to 25,500 between 2013/14 and 2014/15.

The excess winter mortality index was highest in the South West in 2014/15 and joint lowest in Yorkshire and The Humber, and Wales.