17/10/2013 12:19 BST | Updated 17/10/2013 12:21 BST

Half Of Students Fall Ill Due To Cold Housing, As British Gas Hike Up Prices

Half of students have fallen ill due to living in cold accommodation, saying they cannot afford heating, research has revealed.

The study, which was published shortly before British Gas announced a hike in energy prices, paints a desolate picture of students having to choose between heating their house and buying food.

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One third of students said they could not afford other essentials if their paid for heating, with a quarter admitting they had been depressed as a result of living with central heating, the research by Dreamland found.

More than a third stated the quality of their work suffered due to the cold, while 9% admitted to missing classes and lectures as they were unable to face getting out of bed in their cold rooms. A further 13% said they stopped working altogether in order to find a way to keep warm.

A spokesperson for Dreamland said: "One fifth of students spend more time in their rooms, keeping warm under their duvets when the weather turns cold, which can lead to isolation and depression.

"Parents worry about their children heading off to university enough, without the added concerns of them falling ill or depressed due to worrying about putting on the central heating."

Almost half of the survey's respondents avoid putting on the heating to save money while at university, with 53% stating they worry about the cost of their heating bills. Another 62% of students said their student accommodation was "always" or "often" cold during the winter month