Heatwave deaths: England’s August heatwave was deadlier than document 40°C days in July

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Official statistics present that England’s 10-day heatwave in August 2022 led to extra extra deaths than the shorter however record-breaking temperature spike in July, highlighting the dangers of prolonged intervals of warmth

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7 October 2022

Heatwave in London on 10 August 2022

Rasid Necati Aslim/Anadolu Company by way of Getty

Extra deaths of individuals aged 65 and over had been greater throughout England’s August heatwave than throughout the record-breaking 40°C (104°F) sizzling spell in July, official statistics point out.

New figures from the UK Well being Safety Company (UKHSA) recommend there have been an estimated 1458 extra deaths in England in these aged over 65 from 8-17 August, when elements of the nation noticed daytime temperatures exceed 30°C (86°F) for 4 days.

By comparability, there have been an estimated 1012 extra deaths within the over 65s throughout the record-breaking 17-20 July heatwave, which noticed temperatures briefly spike to 40°C in elements of England.

These numbers are based mostly on statistical modelling from the UKHSA that’s designed to point out the influence of heatwaves on essentially the most susceptible age teams. The figures exclude those that died with covid-19. The UKHSA additionally notes that extra deaths have been excessive for a lot of 2022, even during times of decrease temperatures.

Older individuals are extra more likely to undergo critical well being impacts from sizzling climate, partly as a result of it turns into tougher for the physique to control its temperature with age.

General, the UKHSA stated the summer time of 2022 was the deadliest for heatwaves since 2004, when the UK authorities first launched a particular plan for heatwaves in England. The plan contains measures the Nationwide Well being Service, native authorities and group teams ought to take to guard the inhabitants from the well being impacts of utmost warmth.

The company stated England skilled 5 “warmth intervals” over the course of the summer time, outlined as a interval when there’s a excessive threat of elevated temperatures over a number of days, and/or days when the imply temperature in central England was above 20°C (68°F).

Throughout these 5 intervals, which occurred between June and August, the estimated whole extra mortality was 2803 for these aged 65 and over.

Isabel Oliver at UKHSA says the figures ought to act as a warning for the UK to higher put together for the general public well being impacts of utmost warmth.

“Larger extra deaths occurred throughout the hottest days this 12 months and a warming local weather means we should adapt to dwelling safely with hotter summers sooner or later,” she stated in an announcement.

Figures from the UK Workplace for Nationwide Statistics, additionally launched as we speak, recommend that extra deaths throughout all age teams all through England and Wales amounted to 3271 throughout the 5 heatwaves – greater than 6 per cent greater than the five-year common.

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