In the News

Cold homes increase the risk of severe mental health problems – new study

Liz Blamire

7th November 2022

As the cost of living and energy crisis continues, a new study suggests that cold homes increase the risk of severe mental ill health.

This research is reported on and explained in plain terms in The Conversation. The study was a longitudinal cohort study - which means it followed a group (cohort) of participants at routine intervals over time. The study attempted to control confounding variables - other factors known to increase the risk of mental ill-health - in an attempt to make the findings more valid and applicable to cold homes only.

The highlights of the findings were as follows:

  • The risk of living in a cold home in the UK is unevenly distributed
  • Transitioning to living in a cold home increases risk of mental distress
  • The risk of severe mental distress doubles for those with no prior mental ill health
  • The risk triples for those previously on the borderline of severe mental distress
  • Cold homes are an avoidable source of social harm with significant health impacts

Read the original research here:

Cold homes and mental health harm: Evidence from the UK Household Longitudinal Study

Liz Blamire

Liz is a former NHS midwife, who has worked in community, birth centre and acute hospital settings. Liz is an SSAT Accredited Lead Practitioner, who has taught Health and Social Care in FE and secondary schools, where she was a successful HOD. Liz is an experienced senior examiner and author and is the current tutor2u subject lead for Health and Social Care.

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