Bitter conditions linked to deaths of additional 31,000 people last winter – up one third

There was a 29 per cent increase in deaths linked to the cold weather last winter, new figures have revealed.

According to a report by the Office for National Statistics, “excess winter deaths” in England and Wales rose by almost a third compared with the previous year, with 31,000 additional deaths.

The figures follow a bitterly cold start to the year.

This March was the coldest since 1962, with an average monthly temperature of just 2.6C (36.7F).

In March, 1,582 people died every single day – 14 per cent higher than average, the report states.

“The increased level of excess winter mortality coincided with a decrease in the average winter temperature,” the report states.

“This suggests that the higher levels of excess winter mortality in 2012/13 may be due to a particularly prolonged winter with lower than average temperatures in February and March.

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