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Climate Change

07th Oct 2022

More than 3,200 Brits killed by heatwave in 2022 as temperatures hit 40C

Steve Hopkins

Estimates ‘clearly show’ that high temperatures can lead to premature death

An estimated 3,271 people were killed in England and Wales during the record-breaking summer heatwaves where temperatures spiked over 40C.

UK Health Security Agency and Office for National Statistics analysis released on Friday shows the average number of deaths above a five-year average. This represents a 6.2 per cent increase and does not exclude deaths from covid, the Mirror reported.

UKHSA chief scientific officer Isabel Oliver said the estimates “show clearly” that high temperatures “can lead to premature death” for the vulnerable.

Oliver said: “These estimates show clearly that high temperatures can lead to premature death for those who are vulnerable. “Higher excess deaths occurred during the hottest days this year and a warming climate means we must adapt to living safely with hotter summers in the future.

“Prolonged periods of hot weather are a particular risk for elderly people, those with heart and lung conditions or people who are unable to keep themselves cool such as people with learning disabilities and Alzheimer’s disease.”

Sky News reported that excess deaths for people aged 65 and over recorded during the heatwave were the highest since 2004.

The estimated total excess mortality, excluding covid, in England was 2,803 deaths for the age group.

On July 19, temperatures reached 40.2C during a sweltering period of heatwaves exacerbated by a lack of rainfall. That led to hosepipe ban and wildfires across the UK.

Red weather warnings were issued across parts of England and Wales by the Met Office as the temperatures posed a danger to life.

People were not to travel only when necessary, and to largely stay inside.

Brits were also warned about the dangers of swimming in rivers and lakes, and at least a dozen people drowned in July alone.

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