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Excessive winter deaths are rising to the highest level for more than 40 years



The number of excessive winter deaths from 2017 to 2018 was the highest in 40 years, showing new figures.

It is estimated that 50,100 deaths are above the expected levels in England and Wales – the highest recorded in the winter of 1975/76, according to the National Office of National Statistics (ONS) data.

It is believed that an increase in flu, flu vaccine efficacy and particularly cold weather has been recorded last winter.

Data also show that more than one third (34.7%) of deaths are caused by respiratory illnesses.

Excessive winter mortality continued to be the highest among women and 85 and over, while among men between the ages of 0 and 64 between winter 2016/17. I 2017/18.

The number of daily deaths has exceeded the five-year average for all dates except March 25, but experts say such peaks are not uncommon.

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Nick Stripe, head of health analysis and life events at ONS, said: "The number of excessive winter deaths in England and Wales in the period 2017-2018 was the highest recorded in the winter of 1975 to 1976.

"However, such tips are not unusual – we have seen more than eight peaks over the past 40 years.

"It is likely that last year's increase was the result of the prevalent strain of influenza, the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine and low winter temperatures."

ONS has announced that increases may be partially explained by temperature, as in December, February and March there was a colder time compared to a five-year average.

Namely, the daily temperatures in central England show that between February 22 and March 3 there was a particularly cold period that could be the second peak of daily deaths.

The peak in January could also be the result of flu, which increased its level in the first weeks of January, and peaked in the three weeks.

Statistics say a high number of deaths among the ages of over 85 years may be due to the influenza A and flu B fluctuations, mostly affecting the elderly.

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The number of excessive winter deaths observed in 2017/18 was greater than all the years since the winter period 1975/76 when there were 58,100 deaths.

However, the increase was similar to the peaks observed in previous years such as 2014/15, 1999/00 and 1998/99.

Compared to the last years, the surplus of winter deaths observed in 2017/18. It was 45.1% higher than in the winter months 2016/17, and more than twice as high as 2015/16.

The latest peak was recorded in 2014/15, though winter 2017/18 has exceeded this for about 6,000 deaths.


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