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Number of winter deaths in England and Wales highest in 40 years

Staff Writer |
There were around 50,100 excess winter deaths in England and Wales in 2017-18, the highest since the winter of 1975-76, figures from the Office for National Statistics show.

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The increase is thought to be down to the flu, the ineffectiveness of the flu vaccine in older people and spells of very cold weather last winter.

Most excess deaths occurred in women and the over-85s. Similar peaks in excess deaths have been seen in previous years.

Before the 2017-18 peak in excess winter deaths, there were peaks in 2014-15 and 1999-2000.

An extra 6,000 deaths are estimated to have occurred during last winter compared with three years ago.

The figures for last winter, counted as December to March, are still provisional while figures for all other previous winters have been confirmed.

Charities and health organisations have demanded action after official figures showed excess winter deaths hit their highest level in more than 40 years last winter, with the elderly worst affected.

It comes as experts predict the UK could be facing its coldest winter for eight years.

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