Skip to main content
Log in

Changes in seasonal mortalities with improvement in home heating in England and Wales from 1964 to 1984

  • Original Articles
  • Published:
International Journal of Biometeorology Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Changes in summer (July–September) and winter (January–March) mortalities of people aged 70–74 in England and Wales from 1964 to 1984 were compared with possible causal factors. Summer mortalities were little affected by annual temperature or influenza epidemics and fell from 1972–1975 for all causes, coronary and respiratory causes, while cerebrovascular mortality fell more rapidly from that time. Cigarette consumption also fell from 1972–1975; falling consumptions of total fat from 1970 and saturated fat from 1972–1975 probably also contributed to the fall in arterial deaths, and likewise falls in prescription rates for tranquillisers and sedatives from 1976–1978 to the fall in respiratory deaths. From 1964 to 1984 use of central heating increased from 13% to 69% of households, domestic fuel consumption increased, and excess mortality in winter from respiratory disease declined by 69%, even relative to summer mortality and when adjusted for varying coldness of winters. The improvement was partly explained by a decline in influenza epidemics. By contrast, excess mortalities in winter from coronary and cerebrovascular disease, although rising in some early influenza epidemics, did not fall significantly as home heating improved. These thrombotic deaths together accounted for 56% of the total excess winter mortality by 1984. The findings support other indications that most of the excess mortality from arterial thrombosis in winter in England and Wales is due to brief excursions outdoors rather than to low indoor temperatures.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Alderson MR (1985) Season and mortality. Health Trends 17:87–96

    Google Scholar 

  • Andrewes CH, Glover RE (1941) Spread of infection from the respiratory tract of the ferret. 1. Transmission of influenza A virus. Br J Exp Pathol 22:91–97

    Google Scholar 

  • Bainton D, Jones GR, Hole D (1978) Influenza and ischaemic heart disease — a possible trigger for acute myocardial infarction? Int J Epidemiol 7:231–239

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Bull GM (1980) The weather and deaths from pneumonia. Lancet 1:1405–1408

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Bull GM, Morton J (1978) Environment, temperature and death rate. Age Ageing 7:210–224

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Carstensen JM, Pershagen G, Eklund G (1987) Mortality in relation to cigarette and pipe smoking: 16 years' observation of 25,000 Swedish men. J Epidemiol Community Health 41:166–172

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Clark TJH, Collins JV, Tong D (1971) Respiratory depression caused by nitrazepam in patients with respiratory failure. Lancet 2:737–738

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Curwen M (1981) Trends in respiratory mortality, 1951–75, England and Wales. Series DHI No 7, Office of Population Censuses and Surveys, HMSO, London

    Google Scholar 

  • Damms VGS (1959) Ventilation and disease. Br J Clin Pract 13:419–421

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Doll R, Peto R (1976) Mortality in relation to smoking: 20 years' observations on male British doctors. Br Med J 2:1525–1526

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Dwyer T, Hetzel B (1980) A comparison of trends of coronary heart disease mortality in Australia, USA and England and Wales with reference to three major risk factors — hypertension, cigarette smoking and diet. Int J Epidemiol 9:65–71

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Fleming DM, Crombie DL (1985) The incidence of common infectious diseases: the weekly returns service of the Royal College of General Practitioners. Health Trends 17:13–16

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Florey C du V, Melia RJW, Darby SC (1978) Changing mortality from ischaemic heart disease in Great Britain. Br Med J 1:635–637

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Goldburt U, Kark JD (1982) The epidemiology of coronary heart disease in the ethnically and culturally diverse population of Israel. Isr J Med Sci 18:1077–1097

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Hammond EC, Horn D (1958) Smoking and death rates — Report of forty-four months of follow-up of 187,783 men. II. Death rates by cause. J Am Med Assoc 166:1294–1308

    Google Scholar 

  • Hunt DRG, Steele MR (April 1980) Domestic temperature trends. Heating Ventil Engineer 54:5–15

    Google Scholar 

  • Keatinge WR (1986) Seasonal mortality among elderly people with unrestricted home heating. Br Med J 293:732–733

    Google Scholar 

  • Keatinge WR, Coleshaw SRK, Cotter F, Mattock M, Murphy M, Chelliah R (1984) Increases in platelet and red cell counts, blood viscosity, and arterial pressure during mild surface cooling: factors in mortality from coronary and cerebral thrombosis in winter. Br Med J 289:1405–1408

    Google Scholar 

  • Keys A, Menotti A, Karvonen MJ, Aravanis C, Blackburn H, Buzina R, Djordjevic BS, Dontas AS, Fidanza F, Keys MH, Kromhout D, Nedeljkovic S, Punsar S, Seccareccia F, Toshima H (1986) The diet and 15-year death rate in the seven countries study. Am J Epidemiol 124:903–915

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Lapidus L, Bengtsson C, Larsson B, Pennert K, Rybo E, Sjostrom L (1984) Distribution of adipose tissue and risk of cardiovascular disease and death: a 12-year follow-up of participants in the population study of women in Gothenburg, Sweden. Br Med J 289:1257–1261

    Google Scholar 

  • Macfarlane A (1977) Daily mortality and environment in English conurbations. 1. Air pollution, low temperature and influenza in Greater London. Br J Prev Social Med 31:54–61

    Google Scholar 

  • Marmot MG (1985) Interpretation of trends of coronary heart disease mortality. Acta Med Scand [Suppl] 701:58–65

    Google Scholar 

  • Mattila K, Haavisto M, Rajala S (1986) Body mass index and mortality in the elderly. Br Med J 292:867–868

    Google Scholar 

  • McDowall M (1981) Longterm trends in seasonal mortality. Popul Trends 26:16–19

    Google Scholar 

  • Rose G, Hamilton PJS, Colwell L, Shipley MJ (1982) A randomised controlled trial of anti-smoking advice: 10 year results. J Epidemiol Community Health 36:102–108

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Stuart-Harris CH, Schild GC, Oxford JS (1985) Influenza. The viruses and the disease. Edward Arnold, Baltimore.

    Google Scholar 

  • Syrjanen J, Valtonen VV, Livanainen M, Hovi T, Malkamaki M, Makela PH (1986) Association between cerebral infarction and increased serum bacterial antibody levels in young adults. Acta Neurol Scand 73:273–278

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • WHO/ISH (1982) Mild hypertension liaison committee. Trials of the treatment of mild hypertension. Lancet 1:149–156

    Google Scholar 

  • Yarnell JWG, St. Leger AS (1977) Housing conditions, respiratory illness and lung function in children in South Wales. Br J Prev Social Med 31:183–188

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Keatinge, W.R., Coleshaw, S.R.K. & Holmes, J. Changes in seasonal mortalities with improvement in home heating in England and Wales from 1964 to 1984. Int J Biometeorol 33, 71–76 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01686280

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01686280

Key words

Navigation