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Winter deaths in North East lowest on record

With winter approaching, the Office of National Statistics has released figures that show that the North East had the lowest number of winter deaths last year.

Across the country there were 24,000 deaths linked to cold weather - with the North East recording the lowest excess winter mortality rate.

Overall, almost 20,000 of the "excess winter deaths" were among people over the age of 75, with the 20,000 figure down on the previous winter when there were an estimated 26,800 cold weather-related deaths in England and Wales.

The ONS said mortality peaked in February, which is likely to be related to bouts of flu and cold temperatures.