10 Gaps in the evidence

10 Gaps in the evidence

The Public Health Advisory Committee (PHAC) identified a number of gaps in the evidence related to the programmes under examination based on an assessment of the evidence, stakeholder and expert comment. These gaps are set out below.

1. It is not clear to what extent cold‑related deaths are primarily a seasonal or a temperature‑related phenomenon. For some conditions, there is a clear medical reason why cold causes or exacerbates them (for example, cardiovascular‑related conditions). This is not true in other cases (for example, Alzheimer's disease).

(Source: Evidence review 1)

2. There are no accurate estimates of the degree to which various diseases can be attributed to cold temperatures in the UK. This includes how long a period of cold weather is needed before these diseases emerge.

(Source: Evidence review 1)

3. It is uncertain to what extent vulnerability to the cold relates to outdoor or indoor temperatures in the UK. Similarly, the degree to which outdoor temperature may affect indoor temperature and ill‑health is unknown.

(Source: Evidence review 1)

4. There is a lack of rigorous, UK‑based epidemiological evidence on the degree to which different housing energy efficiency interventions modify the risk of cold temperature‑related deaths and illnesses.

(Source: Evidence review 2)

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)