New figures reveal 191 people died every day during winter last year

Joe Gamp
Contributor, Yahoo News UK
The highest number of excess deaths in a single day occurred on February 1, when England experienced the coldest day of the year with temperatures plummeting to 1.7C (AP)

More than 23,000 people in the UK died from a range of illnesses and conditions associated with winter weather last year, according to a shocking new report.

Findings from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal how respiratory diseases continue to be the leading cause of “excess winter deaths” in the UK.

The staggering number is equivalent to 191 people dying in Britain each day as a result of illness exacerbated by cold conditions.

The senior woman holding gas bill in front of heating radiator. Payment for heating in winter.

The report showed deaths related to respiratory diseases - including a continuing rise in pneumonia cases - accounted for 40.6% of excess mortality rate in England alone, with a further 42.9% in Wales.

However, the latest statistics showed “significant drop” in the mortality rate for winter 2018/2019 -  the lowest recorded for five years since winter 2013-14.

Winter 2017/2018 recorded 50,000 cases of EWD.

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Mortality rates also continue to be higher in women, especially those aged 90 years and over.

The highest number of excess deaths in a single day occurred on February 1, when England experienced the coldest day of the year on January 31 with temperatures plummeting to 1.7C.

Yorkshire and Humberside was found to have the highest number of cases, accounting for 16.5% of all excess winter deaths during the period.

Respiratory diseases accounted for 40.6% of excess mortality deaths in England alone (GETTY)

The ONS report said the decrease in excess winter deaths was likely to be down to milder weather compared to the previous winter and the lower impact of flu on the elderly in 2018-19.

It read: "The substantial reductions observed in both England and Wales since the previous winter shows the fluctuations in EWM (excess winter deaths).

"The recent decreases are likely related to the milder weather experienced in the winter months compared with the previous winter and the lower impact of influenza on the elderly in 2018 to 2019, and supports improvement in the efficacy of influenza vaccines."

England may soon experience the "coldest winter in 30 years", warn experts (AP)

The news comes as experts predict another beast from the east, with winter set to be "the coldest weather in 30 years”.

Researchers from University College London forecast an average temperature of 3.9C for January to February 2020.

Yahoo News UK has contacted Shelter and Age UK for comment.