New figures reveal 350 extra deaths each week from heart disease and strokes during winter months

23 November 2016        

Category: BHF Comment

A snowy woodland scene with a lake

An extra 350 people die each week from heart disease and strokes between December and March across England and Wales, according to new statistics. 

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released new figures that show last winter, between December 2015 and March 2016, there were 5,900 excess winter deaths linked with cardiovascular disease.

Stay Well This Winter

Around 2,800 people die every week from cardiovascular disease between December and March in England and Wales, 14 per cent more than the rest of the year.

During particularly cold weather, alongside Public Health England as part of its Stay Well this Winter campaign, we are warning vulnerable people, such as heart patients and the elderly, to look after their health and keep warm.

Vital Research

We are funding research at University College London to better understand how low temperatures may increase susceptibility to heart attacks and strokes.

Our associate medical director Dr Mike Knapton, said:

“The figures paint a worrying picture for winter in the UK, showing a spike in deaths from heart disease at this time of year. This is why we are funding vital research to learn more about why this is and how people can reduce their risk. 

“We know that as you get colder, your blood vessels constrict and the blood thickens increasing your risk of heart disease and stroke.  

“People with chronic heart disease are around 11 times more likely to die if they develop flu compared to healthy individuals therefore it is particularly important that people living with heart conditions are well prepared, keep warm during the winter and have a flu jab.”


Find out more about how to keep your heart healthy this winter