News Release

Monday, December 11, 2006

New, Easy-to-Read Booklet Offers Cold-Weather Tips for Older Adults

A new, easy-to-read booklet — Stay Safe in Cold Weather! — offers older adults tips on avoiding a dangerous condition called hypothermia. This free 12-page publication is now available from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

"Older adults can lose body heat faster than when they were young, and some health problems and medicines can make it harder for them to stay warm," says NIA Director Richard J. Hodes, M.D.";This booklet describes hypothermia and offers simple steps seniors can take to lower their risk of this sometimes life-threatening health concern."

Hypothermia (hi-po-ther-mee-uh) occurs when a person's body temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit because of exposure to cold, either indoors or outside. Low body temperature can cause heart attack, kidney problems, liver damage and sometimes death. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 600 people in the United States, half of them age 65 or older, die from hypothermia each year.

Stay Safe in Cold Weather! is written in plain language and incorporates colorful graphic elements and other features to help readers understand the content. In creating the new booklet, the NIA publications team talked with older adults and considered the needs of people with limited reading skills.

Stay Safe in Cold Weather! discusses topics such as:

  • What hypothermia is
  • How to prevent hypothermia, both in the home and outdoors
  • Health problems that can increase an older person's risk of hypothermia
  • Warning signs

To order free copies or for more information about Stay Safe in Cold Weather! and other NIA publications, visit the NIA Web site at or call 1-800-222-2225. Bulk orders are welcome.

The NIA leads the federal effort supporting and conducting research on aging and the medical, social and behavioral issues of older people.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

NIH…Turning Discovery Into Health®