Excess Winter Deaths (EWD) by age and conditions (underlying cause of death) expressed as average per year based on 7 years pooled data, 2004-2011. EWD trend expressed as average per year based on 3 years data.
The Excess Winter Mortality Index (EWM Index was calculated based on the 'ONS Method' which defines the winter period as December to March, and the non-winter period as August to November of that same year and April to July of the following year.
This winter period was selected as they are the months which over the last 50 years have displayed above average monthly mortality. However, if mortality starts to increase prior to this, for example in November, the number of deaths in the non-winter period will increase, which in turn will decrease the estimate of excess winter mortality.
The EWM Index will be partly dependent on the proportion of older people in the population as most excess winter deaths effect older people (there is no standardisation in this calculation by age or any other factor).
Excess winter mortality is calculated as winter deaths (deaths occurring in December to March) minus the average of non-winter deaths (April to July of the current year and August to November of the previous year). The Excess winter mortality index is calculated as excess winter deaths divided by the average non-winter deaths, expressed as a percentage.
Relevant link: http://www.wmpho.org.uk/excesswinterdeathsinEnglandatlas/
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