Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cold homes cost lives, experts argue

Date:
May 12, 2011
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Cold homes cost lives and harm the environment, according to a an editorial published to coincide with a UK report commissioned by Friends of the Earth.

Cold homes cost lives and harm the environment, according to a BMJ editorial published to coincide with a report commissioned by Friends of the Earth and written by Professor Sir Michael Marmot.

The report highlights that every year in the UK there are around 5,500 more deaths in the coldest quarter of houses, than would occur if those houses were warm.

The authors, Dr Keith Dear and Professor Anthony McMichael from the Australian National University in Canberra say Marmot's report identifies three gains that could be achieved by improving the insulation in British homes. These are saving lives, protecting the environment and reducing health inequalities.

While elderly people living in cold homes are more prone to heart and lung disease, cold homes can affect health at any age, say the authors. Children are more likely to suffer from breathing problems and adolescents living in a cold house have an increased risk of mental health problems.

Dear and McMichael highlight that there are more winter deaths in countries with less severe and milder winter climates. This is because in very cold countries, such as Finland and Sweden, building standards have already been improved. Yet the problem in the UK remains severe, they say.

Taking action on cold homes, say the authors, is a win-win scenario. While saving lives and improving health, governments would also be tackling climate change.

The authors conclude that Britain "is saddled with obsolete housing stock many decades, if not centuries, old …these inadequate homes are a waste of energy, a health hazard, and (given today's levels of national wealth) a shameful relic for their part in fostering persistent, avoidable, social inequity." They call on governments to "heed the call in this timely report."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. K. B. G. Dear, A. J. McMichael. The health impacts of cold homes and fuel poverty. BMJ, 2011; 342 (may11 2): d2807 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.d2807

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Cold homes cost lives, experts argue." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110512214454.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2011, May 12). Cold homes cost lives, experts argue. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110512214454.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Cold homes cost lives, experts argue." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110512214454.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A U.S. doctor has tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, as the worst-ever outbreak continues to grow. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins