Almost 900 ‘excess deaths’ during 2019 heatwaves, official figures show
Almost 900 “excess deaths” are thought to have occurred during the heatwaves of summer 2019, official data shows.
There were an estimated 892 excess deaths in the over-65s over summer last year, Public Health England (PHE) said.
This is the number of deaths additional to those which were expected as per the baseline mortality.
Provisional data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) last October indicated the number of deaths had spiked on the hottest day of the summer – July 25.
Temperatures reached 38.7C (101.66F) in Cambridge, breaking the record for the highest temperature ever recorded in the UK.
There were 572 excess deaths estimated during July 21-28 and 320 estimated between August 23-29.
No “significant excess mortality” was observed during the first heatwave of the summer – June 28-30, PHE added.
Older people, babies and young children, and people with long-term health conditions such as heart or breathing problems are most vulnerable to the effects of prolonged hot weather.
A number of excess deaths were estimated to have occurred in the under-65s during the three heatwaves, but was not deemed to be statistically significant by the stats body.
The 2019 total is the highest for three years, when there were 908 excess deaths in 2016.