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Dr.Armughan Riaz
M.B.B.S, Dip Card
Consultant Cardiologist


Blood Pressure rises in Winter

Blood Pressure rises in Winter in elder people. According to a new study linking cooler temperatures with higher blood pressure.

Blood Pressure rises in Winter

According to a new study linking cooler temperatures with higher blood pressure. Falling temperatures in winter may cause an unhealthy rise in high blood pressure in elderly people.

We have seen that seasonal variations in blood pressure have been noted for many years, but only few studies have looked at these temperature-related effects in one of the most at-risk populations i.e the elder people.

Now a large study from France has shown that blood pressure in elderly people varies significantly in winter season, with rates of high blood pressure readings rising from 23.8% in summer to 33.4% in winter. This Blood pressure increase has been seen in both the systolic (top) and diastolic (bottom) numbers.

Researcher Annick Alperovitch, MD, of the Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale, in Paris, and colleagues write in the Archives of Internal Medicine "Elderly persons may be particularly susceptible to temperature-related variations in blood pressure,". Mechanisms that could explain the association between blood pressure and temperature remain unclear.

"Possible explanations of the cold weather effect include activation of the sympathetic nervous system and release of the hormone catecholamine" researchers say, which may increase blood pressure by speeding the heart rate and decreasing the responsiveness of blood vessels.


Seasonal Variation in High Blood Pressure

In this study, researchers observed seasonal variation in blood pressure among 8,801 adults over the age of 65 in France over 2 years.This study results showed both systolic and diastolic blood pressures varied with the weather.

Researchers found that the average systolic blood pressure was 5 points higher in winter than in summer. They also noted that the temperature-related effects on high blood pressure were greatest among those 80 and or greater than 80s.

The authors of this study write"Although our study does not demonstrate a causal link between blood pressure and external temperature, the observed relationship nevertheless has potentially important consequences for blood pressure management in the elderly,"

Researchers also say the findings may explain the well known seasonal variations in illness and death from stroke, blood vessel rupture, or aneurysm. They mentioned "Because the risk of stroke or aneurysmal rupture is highest in the elderly, improved protection against these diseases by close monitoring of blood pressure and antihypertensive medication when outdoor temperature is very low could be considered,"


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