These are deaths which are directly related to cold weather. These are deaths which are directly related to cold weather



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These are deaths which are directly related to cold weather.

  • These are deaths which are directly related to cold weather.

  • These occur among people who generally have underlying health problems who die in winter but would have not have been expected to die during this period.

  • This is why we call them “excess winter deaths”.



  • EWD has been observed in Ireland and in other European countries.1

  • Previous studies found EWDs are greatest in older persons with respiratory and cardiovascular conditions.



A recent UK study* found that those with Alzheimer’s Disease or Related Dementia (ADR D) are also at greatest risk of dying during winter.

  • A recent UK study* found that those with Alzheimer’s Disease or Related Dementia (ADR D) are also at greatest risk of dying during winter.

  • For e.g. in the UK

    • 40% more persons aged >75 yrs or over with ADRD die in winter than at any other time of the year.




Determine whether this excess winter deaths in Alzheimers disease and related dementia (ADRD) is present in Ireland.

  • Determine whether this excess winter deaths in Alzheimers disease and related dementia (ADRD) is present in Ireland.

    • Our study used updated data from 2010-2015.
    • Our study based on those aged ≥ 65 yrs.


All deaths (all causes) and also deaths with principal cause of death recorded as Alzheimer’s Diease and Related Dementia (ADRD) by month of death was obtained from the Central Statistics Office (CSO):

  • All deaths (all causes) and also deaths with principal cause of death recorded as Alzheimer’s Diease and Related Dementia (ADRD) by month of death was obtained from the Central Statistics Office (CSO):

    • ≥65 years
  • Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia (ADRD) deaths were identified using:

  • ICD-10 Codes:

    • *F00 - Dementia in Alzheimer’s Disease
    • *F01 - Vascular dementia
    • *F02 - Dementia in other diseases classified elsewhere.
    • *F03 - Unspecified dementia
    • *G30 - Alzheimer’s Disease


  • Statistical analyses were carried out in:

    • SPSS
    • JMP
    • StatsDirect.


  • Winter deaths = deaths occurring in the 4 months of winter (Dec-Mar)

  • Non-Winter deaths = deaths occurring the 4 months preceding (Aug-Nov) the Winter period and the 4 months following on from the Winter (Apr-July)



EWDI = the excess winter deaths expressed as a percentage of the average number of deaths in non-winter months.

  • EWDI = the excess winter deaths expressed as a percentage of the average number of deaths in non-winter months.











Excess winter mortality from all causes among those aged 65 + years still exists in Ireland today:

  • Excess winter mortality from all causes among those aged 65 + years still exists in Ireland today:

    • Increased from 1097 in 2010/11 in 2009 to 1,803 in 2014/15
    • 15.6 % excess mortality in 2010/11 vs. 32.8% in 2014/15


Excess winter mortality from ADRD among those aged 65 + years Ireland today:

  • Excess winter mortality from ADRD among those aged 65 + years Ireland today:

    • Increased from 91 in 2010/11 in 2009 to 172 in 2014/15
    • 33.7% excess mortality in 2010/11 vs. 24.1% in 2014/15


Excess ADRD-related winter deaths evident in Ireland.

  • Excess ADRD-related winter deaths evident in Ireland.

    • Higher % than for excess winter deaths for all cause mortality but.....
    • The % of excess ADRD-related winter deaths lower in Ireland than UK.


This traditional method of measuring excess winter mortality in Europe has been questioned.

  • This traditional method of measuring excess winter mortality in Europe has been questioned.

  • If majority of cold days occur between December and March (few or none in autumn or spring), then the classic EWDi method is likely to be fit for purpose.

  • If majority of cold days occur in non-winter months the classic EWDi method is likely to under-estimate the number of cold-related deaths.



  • These findings suggest that people living with ADRD have an excess risk of dying in the winter.



The causes of the excess winter mortality among those with dementia still need further research as it is likely to be multi-factorial.

  • The causes of the excess winter mortality among those with dementia still need further research as it is likely to be multi-factorial.

  • Many of these deaths are likely to be avoidable.

  • Norway vs. Ireland.

    • Relative excess winter mortality from cardiovascular disease in Ireland is 2.1 times that in Norway.
  • Housing stock in Norway much better.



Energy Action Ireland:

  • Energy Action Ireland:

    • In latter years, Energy Action Ireland has provided a free home insulation service to qualifying households*.
      • Low-income households
      • Elderly households
      • Vulnerable households*
    • Improve the energy efficiency and comfort conditions of homes.


Warmth and Wellbeing Pilot

  • Warmth and Wellbeing Pilot

  • Partnership Approach:

  • Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment; Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland; Health Services Executive; and the Department of Health

  • 900+ homes in Community Health Office 7

  • Focus on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Children with chronic Pulmonary conditions

  • Rollout = Opportunity to increase scope to other causes of excess winter mortality



Ageing population will lead to increase in incidence of ADRD – likely to be major problem unless good policies in place.

    • Ageing population will lead to increase in incidence of ADRD – likely to be major problem unless good policies in place.
  • Public awareness of vulnerability of those with dementia to excess winter mortality:

    • Discharge care plan for all persons with dementia


Energy audit of homes for those who are diagnosed with dementia.

  • Energy audit of homes for those who are diagnosed with dementia.

  • Those with dementia added to priority list for free home insulation service.



Identify reasons for big difference between Ireland and UK.

  • Identify reasons for big difference between Ireland and UK.

  • Analysis of EWDs in those with dementia by:

    • Place of residence
    • Nursing home vs. own home
    • Presence of co-morbidities
    • Social inclusion


CSO for the data

  • CSO for the data

  • Communications




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