350 extra deaths each week from heart disease and strokes during winter months
An extra 350 people die each week from heart disease and strokes between December and March across England and Wales, according to statistics released today.
Around 2,800 people die every week from cardiovascular disease (CVD) between December and March in England and Wales, 14% more than the rest of the year.
Last winter (2015/16) saw 5,900 excess winter deaths1 from CVD. The figures are most alarming in Wales, where there are 17% more deaths from cardiovascular disease between December and March compared to the rest of the year. The figure for England and Wales as a whole is 14%.
During particularly cold weather, the BHF is warning vulnerable people, such as heart patients and the elderly, to look after their health and keep warm.
The BHF is funding research to better understand how low temperatures may increase susceptibility to heart attacks and strokes.
There are an estimated 6 million people living with CVD in England and Wales, and it causes more than a quarter of all deaths.
Ruth Coombs, Head of BHF Cymru said:
“The figures paint a worrying picture for winter in Wales, showing a spike in deaths from heart disease at this time of year. This is why we are funding vital research to learn more about why this is and how people can reduce their risk.
“People with chronic heart disease are approximately 11 times more likely to die if they develop flu compared to healthy individuals, therefore it is particularly important that people living with heart conditions are prepared and keep warm during the winter.”
Elderly people are particularly vulnerable to a drop in body temperature in the winter months.
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