Deaths caused by hot weather will soar over the next 40 years as a result of climate change, researchers have predicted.
The number of annual deaths in the UK that occur as a result of the heat will rise by 257% by 2050 with elderly people the most at risk, the new study suggests.
While the number of excess deaths seen in the summer months will rise, those recorded in winter will actually decrease, according to researchers from Public Health England (PHE) and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Their study examined fluctuations in weather patterns and death rates between 1993 and 2006 to characterise the associations between temperature and mortality. They noted a 2.1% increase in the number of deaths for every 1C rise in the mercury.
The authors predicted that without adaptation, the number of heat-related deaths will increase by 66% in the 2020s, 257% by the 2050s and 535% by the 2080s.