Many people believe that the only risk of the winter weather is getting a cold, but in fact the risk is much greater as low temperatures raise blood pressure putting people at greater risk of heart attacks and strokes as well as increasing the likelihood and severity of flu, chest infections and other respiratory problems.
Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director of Age UK commented: 'The cold can and does kill. Behind the dreadful excess winter deaths figures lie deep-seated social issues with over 5 million households in the UK living in fuel poverty alone and one in three older people living in housing that is poorly insulated.
This is why Age UK has launched a campaign today to ask MPs to pledge to help lower the number of winter deaths and reduce of fuel poverty in their own constituency.
Mitchell continued: 'A well targeted fuel poverty programme would help reduce the impact of cold weather on older people and that’s why we are writing to every MP asking them to sign our pledge to reduce the number of excess winter deaths and help stop the devastating effects of fuel poverty.'