More people are dying during winter months in Somerset
PUBLISHED: 15:00 03 January 2018
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The number of people dying in Somerset during the cold winter months has risen significantly, figures suggest.
The Government records excess winter deaths, which show how many people died in December to March compared to the rest of the year.
The figures show how there were 550 excess winter deaths in Somerset in 2015/16, but provisional data for last winter suggest even more people died during cold spells in 2016/17.
In the South West, there were an estimated 3,200 excess winter deaths in 2016/17, the second highest level in five years.
Many of the deaths in Somerset are believed to be cold-related, as many homes in the area have poor insulation and are harder to keep warm.
Cold temperatures are associated with increased blood pressure and lower immune systems, which put older and vulnerable people most at risk.