Hypothermia deaths increase as energy prices stay high

Hypothermia deaths rise as energy prices continue to stay high

The number deaths from hypothermia in the last five years has almost doubled, it has emerged.

A succession of cold winters and increased cost of energy bills, increasing by up to 40 per cent, is thought to be contributing to the rise in deaths.

The official figures were revealed after several days of freezing conditions which saw temperatures drop across the whole country to as low as minus 10C (14F).

It has been reported that 260 victims lost their lives in 2010 to 2011 because of low body temperature, this has led to renewed calls for energy bills to be cut.

The number is up from 135 people who died from the condition between 2006 and 2007.

Those over 60 hospitalised with the condition also rose over five years from 633 to 1,396 and around three million older people in the UK now find themselves in fuel poverty.

Fuel poverty is defined as spending 10% or more of a household’s disposable income, fuel poverty is an increasing problem.

The majority of victims were pensioners, with cases rising dramatically among the over-60s, more than any other age group.

Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director of Age UK, told the Daily Mail: “We like to think of ourselves as a civilised society which protects the most vulnerable. The fact that there are still older people who are suffering and dying of hypothermia is deeply shocking.”

 

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