Can we identify older people most vulnerable to living in cold homes during winter?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Claudio Sartini
  • Peter Tammes
  • Alastair D. Hay
  • Ian Preston
  • Peter H. Whincup
  • S. Goya Wannamethee
  • Richard W. Morris

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • University of Bristol
  • Centre for Sustainable Energy, Bristol
  • Population Health Research Institute, St George's University of London


Purpose: Living in a cold home increases the risk of dying in winter, especially in older people. However, it is unclear which individual factors predict whether older people are living in cold homes. Methods: 1402 men aged 74-95 from a UK population-based study reported difficulties in keeping warm during winter answering four simple “yes/no” questions. Associations between individual’s characteristics and each of the four self-reported measures of cold homes were estimated using logistic regression models. Next, we investigated whether measures of cold homes predict mortality over the subsequent 2.1 years. Results: Manual social class, difficulties making ends meet, and not being married were each associated (p<0.05) with each of the four measures of cold homes (adjusted odds ratios ranged from 1.61 to 4.68). Social isolation, poor respiratory health and grip strength were also associated with reports of cold homes. 126 men died; those who reported the presence of at least three measures cold homes had increased mortality [adjusted hazard ratios 2.85 (95%CI 1.11-7.30, p=0.029)]. Conclusions: Older people who find it hard to keep warm in winter, and have an elevated mortality, could be identified using a self-report questionnaire.


Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of Epidemiology
Early online date4 Dec 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Dec 2017