Cold Weather Kills Dramatically More People than Hot Weather, Says The Lancet

2009, England and Wales covered in snow - image: NASA

A study published in the July 2022 edition of the prestigious medical journal The Lancet finds that cold weather kills almost 77 people for every 1 person that dies during a heat wave.

The study, Small-area assessment of temperature-related mortality risks in England and Wales: a case time series analysis examined all deaths in England and Wales to determine what weather factors were primary causes of death.

The authors report dramatic difference: Out of 10,716,879 deaths from all causes, “each year in England and Wales, there was on average 791 excess deaths attributable to heat and 60,573 attributable to cold.”

According to the data, approximately 77 times more people die due to health events tied to cold weather in England and Wales each year than to hot weather. The paper reports the deaths related to temperatures correspond to a standardized excess mortality rate of 1.57 deaths per 100,000 person-years from heat compared to 122.34 deaths per 100,000 person-years with cold.

“Our analysis indicates that the excess in mortality attributable to cold was almost two orders of magnitude higher than the excess in mortality attributable to heat,” write the authors.


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