Portsmouth sees an increase in avoidable winter deaths

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Paige Howitt

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MORE than 150 people died over the winter months in the Portsmouth area, according to latest statistics.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show in Portsmouth, winter deaths rose from 100 in 1991-92, to 120, in 2013-14. In 2013 the figure also stood at 120.

Nationally 44,000 deaths were recorded last year, but a breakdown by local areas has not yet been released.

Despite a national year-on-year increase in winter deaths, Fareham, Gosport and Havant, have all seen a decrease.

In Gosport there were 50 excess winter deaths in 1991-92, which rose to 90 in 2012-13, but fell to 10, in 2013-14.

In Havant there were 70 excess winter deaths in 1991-92, which rose to 110 in 2012-13, but then fell to 30, in 2013-14.

Fareham had 50 deaths in 1991-92, but by 2013-14, found there were more avoidable deaths recorded in the summer rather than the winter.

The majority of deaths occurred in people aged 75 or over, and respiratory diseases were the underlying cause of death in more than a third of cases.

Excess winter mortality is defined by the researchers as the deaths occurring in the winter period, December to March, compared to the rest of the year. In common with other countries, in England and Wales more people die in winter than in summer.