More than 700 excess deaths were recorded in Derbyshire last winter – as charities warn older people to take extra care during the current Arctic blast.
Shock data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows there were 730 more deaths than usual across the county during the winter of 2013/14.
The majority of deaths occurred among those aged 75 and over, according to the ONS.
The usual key causes of excess winter deaths are cold weather, influenza and gastrointestinal infection.
The figures for 2014/15 are expected to be up significantly because of the current harsh winter weather.
Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s charity’s director, said: “The cold weather can be particularly dangerous for older people who are more at risk of suffering health problems when the temperature drops.
“During this current cold snap we are urging all older people to keep warm and take basic precautions to protect their health – for example sleeping with the windows closed at night to lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes caused by raised blood pressure brought on by the cold.”
She warned that one person could die every seven minutes this winter and called on the Government to improve energy efficiency in a bid to end fuel poverty. Malcolm Farrow, of OFTEC, the trade body for the oil-fired heating industry, also backed her calls.