Research shows that a cold and rainy day could make the heart fall, and may pose as a dangerous threat to human blood pressure. The Glasgow University study showed how many people’s blood pressure varies with the surrounding temperatures. As the mercury drops, the damage can be more intense. It also said that such fluctuations in the weather increase the odds of dying by more than a third.
For a lay man this finding can seem odd, however the blood vessels near the surface are known to narrow in cold weather, this is an attempt to converse heat which increases blood pressure. With a change in the blood pressure the body comes under strain and so increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Hence, when measuring a patient’s blood pressure a doctor should note the prevailing weather of that time. This would help to determine who are sensitive so as to adjust the treatment accordingly.
Health expert S. Padmanabhan made this link after he compared more than 40 years of blood pressure data on patients in the west of Scotland with meteorological data for the area. It showed half of the patients were sensitive to drops in temperature, such as those that occur between summer and winter. A fall of around 10C led to an increase in blood pressure of between 3mm and 6mm of mercury.
While this might not seem much, a change of just 2mm is enough to significantly affect the odds of fatal heart attacks and strokes.
Dr Padmanabhan said: ‘Every millimeter counts, that’s the important thing.’
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