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Out in the cold: lung disease, the hidden driver of NHS winter pressure

  • Over the last seven years lung disease admissions to hospital have risen at over three times the rate of all other conditions (36.6% vs 11.1%).
  • Respiratory disease admissions are almost unique in their seasonal variation – there are 80% more lung disease admissions in the winter months of December, January and February then there are in the warmer spring months of March, April and May.
  • As a disease area, respiratory is behind only cardiac and central nervous system diagnoses for the proportion of emergency attendances who are then admitted to hospital.

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