Fuel Poverty (Target, Definition and Strategy) (Scotland) Bill and Fuel Poverty Strategy: health impact assessment

Health Impact Assessment on the policy development of the Fuel Poverty (Target, Definition and Strategy) (Scotland) Bill and Fuel Poverty Strategy.

5. The effects of living in a cold home on health and wellbeing

The links between long term health conditions, poor health and wellbeing, and living in a cold, damp home are well recognised. Cold homes are more likely to be damp and this encourages the growth of mould which can cause and aggravate respiratory illnesses.

Cold, damp housing can also exacerbate existing health conditions ( e.g. diabetes and musculoskeletal pain), cause and exacerbate symptoms of others ( e.g. asthma) and even delay discharge from hospital. There are also links between living in a cold, damp home and poor mental health. Cold indoor temperatures can also affect and worsen other conditions such as the common cold, flu pneumonia, arthritis, rheumatism, and chronic and/or long-term conditions, and can also delay recovery from illness.

In addition there is also evidence on the mental health and wellbeing impacts of living in cold homes and experiencing fuel poverty and the benefits to mental wellbeing which can be delivered from tackling fuel poverty, across the age range.


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