Estimates of “excess winter deaths” for 1999-2000 vary etween 1,400 and 3,000 dependent on the methodology used. There is a very strong relationship between the numbers of deaths from all causes and measures of influenza activity. Additional winter deaths are particularly associated with respiratory and circulatory diseases.
(General Registrar for Scotland. The raised incidence of winter deaths. April 2002)
2,760 more older people died in Scotland during the winter of 2004-05 than in the summer of 2004.
(General Registrar for Scotland. Excess winter deaths in Scotland. 2004/05)
Older people are more likely to be fuel poor (where more than 10% of income should be spent on fuel bills). 21% of older smaller households (66,000 households), and 37% of single pensioner households (128,000 households) are classed as fuel poor. Older households are also more likely to be only marginally above fuel poverty, where they should spend 8-10% of income on fuel.
The oldest households are more likely to be in extreme fuel poverty. (Extreme fuel poverty occurs where more than 20% of a household’s income needs to be spent on fuel). Only 1% of those in the 25-39 bracket are extremely fuel poor. The incidence of extreme fuel poverty rises from this age band until 8% of households where the head of household is 75+ are extremely fuel poor.
Almost half (48%) of fuel poor households are over 60s and living in owner occupied housing. This is 138,000 of the total number of 286,000 fuel poor households.
Fuel poverty is more likely in private housing. Households over 60 who own their own homes or rent privately are more than twice as likely to be fuel poor than those who have a registered social landlord.
(all above statistics from Fuel Poverty in Scotland: an analysis of the Scottish House Condition Survey 2002: Communities Scotland www.shcs.gov.uk)
Approximately 4.5% of older households (29,790) have no central heating. (Scotland’s People – results of the Scottish Household Survey 2003-2004)