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Pensioners: Death

Volume 497: debated on Tuesday 13 October 2009

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what her most recent estimate is of the number of people over the age of 65 years who died as a result of cold weather-related illnesses in the winter of (a) 2006-07, (b) 2007-08 and (c) 2008-09. (289646)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated July 2009:

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking what the most recent estimate is of the number of people over the age of 65 years who died as a result of cold-weather-related illnesses in the winter of (a) 2006-07, (b) 2007-08 and (c) 2008-09. (289646)

The number of excess winter deaths in England and Wales,1,2 of persons aged 65 years and over, for (a) 2006-07 was 22,550, and for (b) 2007-08 was 22,4003 (the latest figures available).

It is not possible to say whether these deaths were related to cold weather. Also, there is no official definition of ‘cold-weather-related illnesses’, therefore deaths from all causes have been included.

1 Estimates of excess winter deaths are based on the difference between the number of deaths during the four winter months (December to March) and the average number of deaths during the preceding four months (August to November) and the following four months (April to July).

2 Figures are based on deaths occurring in each month.

3 Figures for 2006-07 are final, figures for 2007-08 are provisional. Final figures are rounded to the nearest 10, provisional figures are rounded to the nearest 100.