An investigation is under way into an unexpected rise in the number of deaths this year, particularly among the elderly, Public Health England (PHE) has said.
Around 600 more people a week have died in the early part of 2013 compared with the last five years, adding up to around 10,000 people, The Times (£) reports.
Overall there was an increase of 5% in the mortality rate between early 2012 and early 2013 - up by 23,400.The figures were detailed in a report by PHE seen by the newspaper.
Health experts have suggested the spike in deaths among those aged 85 years and older could be down to cuts to council care, resistance to medication, or a levelling out in life expectancy.
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