The Office of National Statistics has reported that the number of excess winter deaths during the 2015/16 winter period fell significantly. It followed a spike in mortality during the winter of 2014/2015.
Between December 2015 and March 2016 24,300 more deaths occurred compared with the rest of the year, in-line with the long-term average number of excess winter deaths.
The figures have fallen significantly compared with the previous year, which saw the highest number of excess winter deaths for 15 years.
Dr Anne Campbell, Health Analysis and Life Events statistician, said: “One of the key factors behind the lower excess mortality this winter was a fall in the number of deaths among the elderly. This was mainly due to the most prevalent strain of the flu virus impacting younger people rather older people, who are more at risk.”
Excess Winter Mortality also continues to show no clear geographical pattern. In 2015/16, the areas with the highest excess winter mortality were Wales (17 percent more deaths in winter than non-winter months), the South West and Yorkshire and the Humber (both 15 percent), while the East of England had the lowest (13 percent). However during the previous winter, Wales and Yorkshire and the Humber had the lowest excess winter mortality.