The impact of the 2003 heat wave on mortality and hospital admissions in England

Helen Johnson, R Sari Kovats, Glenn McGregor, John Stedman, Mark Gibbs, Heather Walton, Lois Cook, Emily Black

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

155 Citations (Scopus)


This article quantifies the impact of the heat wave, 4 to 13 August 2003, on mortality and emergency hospital admissions in England by region and age group. The August 2003 heat wave was associated with a large short-term increase in mortality, particularly in London. Overall in England there were 2,091 (17 per cent) excess deaths. Worst affected were those over the age of 75. The greatest increase of any region in England was in London in the over 75 age group with 522 excess deaths (59 per cent). Excess hospital admissions of 16 per cent were recorded in London for the over 75s. Temperatures in England were unusually hot. Ozone and particulate matter concentrations were also elevated during the heat wave. Estimated excess mortality was greater than for other recent heat waves in the UK.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-11
Number of pages6
JournalHealth Statistics Quarterly
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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