Frailty in older age JSNA

Excess winter deaths

In Rochdale, the winter mortality index of 10.7 per cent was significantly below the England average of 42.8 per cent and below the CIPFA average of 34.9 per cent. (ONS Annual Births and Mortality Extracts 2021).

What are excess winter deaths?

In common with most countries, more people die in the winter compared to the summer months in England and Wales. High cold-related mortality is associated with low indoor temperatures and people not wearing appropriate clothing in cold weather.

Around a third of excess winter deaths are caused by respiratory diseases, with other causes such as cerebrovascular diseases, ischaemic heart disease, dementia and Alzheimer's disease also featuring as leading causes in the majority of winter deaths.

Older people spend a substantial amount of time at home and respiratory diseases are often caused or made worse by damp and cold conditions in the home so a large proportion of winter deaths are in the older age groups. The impact of excess winter deaths can be so great as to make a significant contribution to lower life expectancy in an area.

How are excess winter deaths calculated?

Excess winter deaths are defined using the Excess Winter Deaths Index (EWD Index). It measures excess winter deaths through the ratio of extra deaths from all causes that occur in the winter months, December to March, compared with the expected number of deaths. This expected figure is based on the average number of deaths in the preceding August to November and following April to July.

Statistics on excess winter deaths

Guidance and information on excess winter deaths