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Reducing the respiratory risk: new NICE guideline to combat the cold

Thursday, March 5, 2015

A new NICE guideline published today highlights the risk of living in a cold home for people with respiratory conditions.

The guideline aims to reduce preventable excess winter death rates and improve health and wellbeing for vulnerable people through a cross-sector approach which involves health and social care professionals, the voluntary sector as well as housing and energy suppliers.

According to the guideline, it is not just extreme cold that puts vulnerable people at risk; any temperatures below 6C are associated with increased winter deaths and health problems.

Identifying at risk groups including people with cardiovascular conditions, older people, people on lower incomes and people with mental health conditions,  the guideline states that “[T]he strongest link is between respiratory deaths and the cold”.

The guideline makes twelve recommendations including ensuring there is a single-point-of-contact health and housing referral service for people living in cold homes, and providing tailored solutions and training health and social care practitioners to help people whose homes may be too cold.

Download the guideline in the Respiratory Futures knowledge portal here.