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Cold weather affects blood pressure

Cold weather may increase blood pressure in the elderly and increase the risk of having a stroke or heart attack, according to French research.

The study suggests closer monitoring of high blood pressure in cold weather.

The weather study

French researchers studied the blood pressure and outdoor temperature in over 8800 men and women aged 65 years or older. The volunteers were from three cities and had their blood pressure measured regularly over a 3 year period.

High blood pressure, defined for the study as 160/95 mm Hg was found in a third of the volunteers during winter and a quarter in summer.

Average systolic blood pressure was 5 mm Hg higher in winter than in summer.

The study was published in The Archives of Internal Medicine.

What the researchers say

The French researchers lead by Dr Alp rovitch wrote, The higher the temperature at follow-up compared with baseline, the greater the decrease in blood pressure.

They added, “(The study) may explain well-established seasonal variations in illness and death from stroke, aneurysm ruptures and other vascular diseases.”

Kellie’s note

For those of you living in cold weather in the northern hemisphere, here in Australia it is the middle of summer. Maybe this video of one of our local beaches will warm you up and lower your blood pressure at the same time!

Steve’s note

In My Blood Pressure version 3, if you have a year or more of blood pressure readings, you can view your own seasonal averages.

To do this, click on the Study readings task, then click on the Averages History tab, then click on the “time period” link, selecting Seasonal Average. This is displayed in the screenshot below:

seasonal blood pressure averages

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About Kellie

Kellie is 37 years old and together with her brother Steve makes up the My Health Software team.

She helps on the websites and gathering news for the programs. Kellie worked in the medical industry prior to having her two children (8 and 6) and has a strong interest in self awareness and management of health conditions.


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