FOI ref: FOI/2023/4912

You asked

Please can you provide the total number of deaths where hypothermia (ICD 10 Code T68) were recorded on death certificates for the following periods:

  • 1 November 2022 to 3 February 2023
  • 1 November 2021 to 3 February 2022
  • 1 November 2020 to 3 February 2021
  • 1 November 2019 to 3 February 2020
  • 1 November 2018 to 3 February 2019

Could you also provide the data on the source of exposure (Exposure to excessive cold of man-made origin (additional code W93) and Exposure to excessive cold of natural origin (additional code X31)?

Please provide the most recently available figures, as the public interest favours the release of the most up-to-date data in order to ascertain if hypothermia deaths are potentially on the rise due to people being unable to afford their energy bills.

We said

Thank you for your enquiry.

Our mortality data comes from the information collected at death registration. All the conditions mentioned on the death certificate are coded using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10). From all of these causes an underlying cause of death is selected using ICD-10 coding rules.

The underlying cause of death is defined by WHO as:

  • the disease or injury that initiated the train of events directly leading to death, or

  • the circumstances of the accident or violence that produced the fatal injury

Under the ICD-10 coding rules, T68 Hypothermia cannot be an underlying cause of death, it can only be as a secondary or contributory cause of death. Please also note, we do not hold the circumstances of the death therefore we cannot directly attribute deaths to lack of household heating for example. We only receive the circumstances surrounding a death if there is Coroner involvement and we can perform a search of the Coroner's text.

Annual data for cause codes W93 and X31 as the underlying cause of death are available to download from the NOMIS webservice. We have extracted this annual data for England and Wales for these codes from NOMIS and these are available in the following table:

If you wish to make any further extractions from NOMIS, please see the following instructions for using this service. Please note, data extracts from NOMIS are annual only.

  • Select timeframe 2013 to 2021
  • Select the geography (England and Wales, regional or by local authority).
  • Select Age – All ages or 5-year age bands.
  • Select Gender – Total or Male/Female
  • Select rates – All deaths, rates or percentage of population for example.
  • Select cause of death (ICD10 code search is available).
  • Select format (Excel or CSV for example)

Provision data for 2022 and 2023 and the exact time periods requested can be obtained via our bespoke services. Please note, provisional data is subject to change to allow for the inclusion of late registrations. Delays occur where deaths are referred for coroner investigation. You may also request the inclusion of deaths registered where ICD-10 T68 is a secondary or contributory mentions in this bespoke request. Please note, our bespoke services are subject to disclosure control, legal frameworks, resources and agreement to costs under the ONS Charging Policy. If you would like to discuss obtaining a quote for this work, or require further information, please contact