6.5% of ALL deaths due to cold weather exposure

Reading this headline, you could be forgiven for thinking that this is referring to a northern European country or perhaps somewhere in Alaska.

We've written about this before, but the deaths of 9,983 Australians every year are caused by exposure to the cold, inside their homes. A cold home, year after year, progressively increases blood pressure leading to increased risk of coronary heart disease.

Australian homes are some of the leakiest in the world and the consequences of these oversights are not only affecting our hip pockets, they're also impacting our health and wellbeing.

With 6.5% of all deaths in Australia caused by exposure to the cold, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the case must be much worse in countries with a colder climate. But that's not the case. In Sweden, where temperatures range from -22 degrees C in winter and get up to 17°C in summer, the number of deaths attributed to cold weather are only 3.6% of the population.

So, back to Australia, where hospitalisation for heart disease costs an average $9300 per person and pharmaceuticals & other expenses a further $3900, a total of $13,200 for each one of those people. Saving 3,993 heart disease treatments a year would save us all $52.7m per year. 

Another 2007 study by Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman showed that insulating existing houses led to less days off school and work, less visits to the doctor and less hospitalisations due to respiratory conditions.

Insulation matters. Airtightness matters. Read the full article here