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Publication - Professor Alastair Hay

    Can we identify older people most vulnerable to living in cold homes during winter?

    Citation

    Sartini, C, Tammes, P, Hay, A, Preston, I, Lasserson, D, Whincup, PH, Wannamethee, SG & Morris, R, 2018, ‘Can we identify older people most vulnerable to living in cold homes during winter?’. Annals of Epidemiology, vol 28., pp. 1-7.e3

    Abstract

    Purpose

    Living in a cold home increases the risk of dying in winter, especially in older people. However, it is unclear which individual factors predict whether older people are living in cold homes.

    Methods

    Thousand four hundred two men aged 74–95 years from a U.K. population–based study reported difficulties in keeping warm during winter, answering four simple “yes/no” questions. Associations between individual's characteristics and each of the four self-reported measures of cold homes were estimated using logistic regression models. Next, we investigated whether measures of cold homes predict mortality over the subsequent 2.1 years.

    Results

    Manual social class, difficulties making ends meet, and not being married were each associated (P < .05) with each of the four measures of cold homes (adjusted odds ratios ranged from 1.61 to 4.68). Social isolation, poor respiratory health, and grip strength were also associated with reports of cold homes. Hundred twenty-six men died; those who reported the presence of at least three measures cold homes had increased mortality (adjusted hazard ratios 2.85 [95% confidence interval, 1.11–7.30, P = .029]).

    Conclusions

    Older people who find it hard to keep warm in winter, and have an elevated mortality, could be identified using a self-report questionnaire.

    Full details in the University publications repository