Excess winter deaths

The number of excess winter deaths depends on the temperature and the level of disease in the population as well as other factors, such as how well equipped people are to cope with the drop in temperature. Most excess winter deaths are due to circulatory and respiratory diseases, and the majority occur among the elderly population.[i]

Excess winter deaths are defined as the difference between the number of deaths which occurred in winter (December to March) and the average number of deaths during the preceding four months (August to November) and the subsequent four months (April to July).  Excess Winter Deaths Index (EWD Index) is the excess winter deaths measured as the ratio of extra deaths from all causes that occur in the winter months compared with the expected number of deaths, based on the average of the number of non-winter deaths.

Headline findings

  • During the winter period August 2015 to July 2016, an estimated 717 excess winter deaths occurred in the Lancashire-14 area; 607 of these were in the Lancashire-12 area.
  • In the Lancashire-12 area overall (15.8), Blackpool (12.9) and Blackburn with Darwen (7.7) the all-age EWD index is similar to the England average (15.1) (August 2015 to July 2016).
  • During the 10 winters, 2006/07 to 2015/16, the estimated number of excess winter deaths in the Lancashire-14 area ranged from 563 to 1,309.
  • In 12 local authorities of the Lancashire-14 area the all-age EWD index is similar to the England average (August 2015 to July 2016).
  • In Rossendale (37.6) the all-age EWD index is significantly worse than the England average and in West Lancashire (-1.1) it is better than the England average (August 2015 to July 2016).

The related data in spreadsheet format, including district figures and trend graphs, is available to download in the further analysis and data section below. 

[i] ONS Statistical Bulletin: Excess Winter Mortality in England and Wales, 2016 to 2017 (provisional) and 2015 to 2016 (final) 

Further analysis and data

Excess winter deaths in Lancashire-14 (XLS 176 KB)

Page updated January 2018