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The profit of doom. Forecasting excess winter deaths due to the real increase in domestic energy prices

Howieson, Stirling (2008) The profit of doom. Forecasting excess winter deaths due to the real increase in domestic energy prices. [Report]

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Profit_of_Doom_final_paper2[1].doc

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Abstract

In 1991 Boardman demonstrated that the UK has 30 000 to 60 000 more deaths between December and March than in the preceding and succeeding four month periods. Although there is some evidence demonstrating a reducing trend in excess winter deaths over the past 15 years the UK still has much higher winter death rates than other countries with similar or more severe climates, implying that it is not outdoor exposure to cold that is the key determinant. Northern Finland - where winter temperatures regularly drop to minus 20OC - has a significantly lower rate of excess winter deaths than London however, Finish dwellings have historically had much higher levels of insulation and whole house central heating is commonplace. In the UK 90% of the excess winter deaths are in the elderly population and are registered under three generic disease headings: ischaemic heart, cerebrovascular and respiratory.