Navigation Links
Blood Pressure Tougher to Tame in Winter
Date:11/5/2007

Frigid temperatures may help keep vessels constricted, experts say

MONDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- It turns out blood pressure has a chill factor: Hypertension is harder to control in colder weather, heart experts say.

But the finding, expected to be presented Monday at the American Heart Association annual meeting, in Orlando, Fla., is not exactly new.

"It has been noted for decades that people's blood pressure tends to be a little bit harder to control or a little bit higher in cold climates," said Dr. Kenneth Baker, M.D., a professor of internal medicine at the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine.

He was not involved in the study, which was led by Dr. Ross Fletcher, of the Department of Veterans' Affairs and Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

The study drew on a vast database: the VA's storehouse of 1.8 billion vital statistics records. The five-year study looked at electronic health records for almost 1.2 million patients cared for at 15 VA hospitals located at different latitudes: Anchorage, Alaska; Baltimore; Boston; Chicago; Fargo, N.D.; Honolulu. Hawaii; Houston; West Los Angeles, Calif.; Miami; Minneapolis; New York City; Philadelphia; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Portland, Ore; and Washington, D.C.

The average age of participants was 66. Fifty-one percent were Caucasian, 21 percent were Hispanic, and 27 percent were black. Less than 4 percent were female.

Within the sample, almost 444,000 veterans had high blood pressure (based on readings of more than 140/90 on three separate days).

And, regardless of their locale, patients experienced an average difference of almost 8 percent in getting their high blood pressure back to normal between winter and summer, with that feat being much tougher in winter.

Why?

Baker posited any number of reasons.

"My guess is that one of the top reasons is, when you're in a cold atmosphere, you vasoconstrict [blood vessels narrow]," he said. "If you stick your hand in ice water, it has the same effect. Blood pressure goes up a little, and in hotter climates, sitting by the pool in your swimming suit, the vessels in the skin are dilating, you lose water and sweat off salt, and blood pressure drops."

There are other possible factors as well. Cold medicines people take in the winter can raise blood pressure, as can non-steroidal anti-inflammatory painkillers.

People also tend to be more depressed in the darker months, leading to more alcohol and coffee consumption, both of which can raise blood pressure, the expert said.

A more obvious reason: People are also often more sedentary in the winter, staying inside and eating more. This can have a secondary effect -- weight gain -- which also contributes to hypertension.

Baker believes that these biological or lifestyle differences are more likely to explain the findings than southern or northern climate or the amount of light.

Overall, however, VA hospitals in all the cities studied showed improvements of about 4 percent per year in their ability to keep patients' average blood pressure under control, the study found.

More information

There's more on lowering blood pressure at the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.



SOURCES: Kenneth Baker, M.D., professor, internal medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine; Nov. 5, 2007, presentation, American Heart Association annual meeting, Orlando, Fla.


'/>"/>
Copyright©2007 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Specific antagonism lowers blood pressure
2. Restricting Blood Flow May Help Heart Bypass Patients
3. FDA Updates Prescription Guidelines for Blood Thinner
4. Doctors Often Miss High Blood Pressure in Kids
5. Back to School Means Return of School Blood Drives
6. Blood-flow detector software show promise in preventing brain damage
7. FDA Approves New Roche West Nile Virus Blood Screening Test
8. Australian-led international study shows blood pressure drugs cut death rate in type 2 diabetes
9. Laser blasts viruses in blood
10. Study Demonstrates Marteks Algal DHA Oil Improves Blood Triglyceride Lipid Levels
11. LifeMasters Provides Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Blood Cholesterol Level
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Blood Pressure Tougher to Tame in Winter
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek ... Dr. Murthy explains how he was inspired to practice medicine at an early age ... is about more than making diagnoses and prescribing medicine,” he states. “It is about ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... Dr. Raffi Hovsepian, a leading ... the 2016 “Guide to America’s Top Plastic Surgeons” for seven consecutive years. The ... education, experience, and professional associations. , One the most frequently honored surgeons ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... of its SaaS LIMS, CloudLIMS Lite. CloudLIMS Lite helps biobanks, clinical, research and ... storing, shipping and disposal. The new version is a faster and a more ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 02, 2016 , ... Sourced from ... has some unique properties including its unmatched natural purity of just 6 ppm TDS ... and crisp. , Nothing Water has been available in several ShopRite and FoodTown stores ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... "Pro3rd Accents Volume 2 is ... create versatile lower third titles with just a few clicks of the mouse," said ... includes 30 lower third animations. Choose from various styles with accented animations, rigid boxes, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... On Thursday, the NASDAQ Composite ended the trading ... edged 0.36% higher, to finish at 19,191.93; and the S&P ... as six out of nine sectors ended the day in ... Services equities: Myriad Genetics Inc. (NASDAQ: MYGN ), ... Inc. (NASDAQ: INCR ), and La Quinta Holdings ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... to announce that 12 scientific abstracts have been accepted for ... Society (AES) Annual Meeting, which takes place from 2-6 December ... Data being presented include posters further describing ... CV and BRIVIACT ® (brivaracetam) CV. 2,3,4,6,8 Presentations ... union of epilepsy care and antiepileptic drugs in the U.S. ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... DUBLIN , Nov 30, 2016 ... "US Market Overview for Neuromodulation, Neurovascular, Neurosurgical and Monitoring ... ... The full report suite on ... cerebrospinal fluid external drainage systems, intracranial pressure monitoring devices, detachable ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: