There have been than 300 winter deaths linked to cold weather in Leeds, according to the latest figures.
Tables published yesterday (Nov 29) show for the first time the level of “excess winter deaths” in each council area in the country over the past 20 years.
They reveal there were 340 excess winter deaths in the city over the winter of 2010/11.
The statistics aim to show how many extra deaths took place in the winter months above what would be expected in a three month period outside of winter.
In the winter of 2010/11 deaths in Leeds were 16.3 per cent higher than for the rest of the year. This was an increase on the year before when there were 260 excess winter deaths.
Winter deaths were 12.9 per cent higher than the rest of the year in 2009/10.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) also published national and regional figures yesterday for the level of deaths last winter (2011/12).
Nationally there were 24,000 excess winter deaths with 2,400 in Yorkshire. The level of deaths over the winter of 2011/12 in the Yorkshire region was 15.1 per cent higher than during the rest of this year.
Nationally almost 20,000 of the “excess winter deaths” were among people over the age of 75.
Ellen Mason, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Frost, ice and snow may look picture-perfect but it doesn’t paint such a pretty picture for the health of heart patients.
“During the winter months, we see an increase in the number of deaths of people with heart disease, so it’s imperative that people wrap up warm or stay indoors when the weather is bitterly cold.
“Your blood pressure and your heart rate can increase as your body tries to keep the heat in.
“If you have underlying heart disease, your risk of a heart attack can also rise. So give your heart a helping hand with lots of warm clothes and a heated house.”