Lowest ever winter deaths recorded

The lowest ever number of winter deaths was recorded last year, official figures for England and Wales show. An estimated 18,200 excess winter deaths occurred in 2013-14, the lowest number since records began in 1950-51. Last winter was notably warmer than in previous years and had a relatively mild flu season which contributed to the lower number of deaths.
The Office for National Statistics data compares deaths in winter months with averages in other seasons. It showed 11.6% more people died last winter and elderly people were disproportionately affected. Of the 18,200 excess deaths, 14,000 were in the over-75s.
Temperatures were 2C above average for December and January last year. The ONS report said: "The peak in mortality for 2013-14 was much less pronounced than in previous years with 8% fewer mean [average] daily deaths during December and January compared to the five year average."
While excess winter deaths are linked to low temperatures, hypothermia is not the main cause. Experience shows that the majority of such deaths are due to heart disease, stroke and respiratory illness. However, the flu season was mild and the type of flu virus circulating last winter had a bigger impact on young adults than elderly people.