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Blood pressure increase due to bad weather

2017-04-21T11:13:32+00:00 May 23rd, 2013|Blood Pressure|

'Bad weather could raise your blood pressure and even kill you,' is the unnecessarily alarmist headline in the Daily Mail. It reports on a large, complex study that looked for any association between changes in weather and blood pressure rates. The research focused on patients at a blood pressure clinic in Glasgow and looked at two consecutive visits the patients made within a 12-month period. The researchers combined these findings with Met Office weather data from the time of these visits to assess whether changes in patients' blood pressure were related to changes in the weather. They found that decreases in temperature and sunshine, or increases in rainfall and frost, were associated with a slight increase in blood pressure. In the longer term, individuals whose blood pressure seemed sensitive to decreases in temperature and sunshine had slight increases in blood pressure. They also seemed to have overall shorter survival than people insensitive to weather changes. We know that our bodies respond to temperature changes, so it is plausible that temperature could influence blood pressure. But factors other than the weather may have had a role to play in the blood pressure results seen. It is also important to point out that the minor increases in blood pressure detected by the study could in many cases be compensated for by taking more exercise or improving your diet. Where did the story come from? The study was carried out by researchers from the University of Glasgow. One of the study authors was supported by a Wellcome Trust Capacity Strengthening Strategic Award to the Public Health Foundation of India and a consortium of UK universities. It was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the American Heart Association. The quality of the Daily Mail's reporting of this study is mixed. On the negative side, [...]

Blood pressure differences, predict death risk?

2016-01-26T16:44:27+00:00 February 1st, 2013|Blood Pressure|

A large difference between the blood pressure in each arm suggests a bigger risk of dying early, researchers claim. A study of 230 high blood pressure patients found those with big differences in systolic pressure were more likely to die from heart attack, stroke or other causes. More heart health checks may be needed in those with different readings, says the British Heart Foundation. Not all medics follow national guidance to measure blood pressure in both arms. Dr Christopher Clark from the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Exeter, who led the study, published in the British Medical Journal, said the message to doctors was simple. "Sorry guys, but you really need to follow the guidelines by measuring both arms when you're assessing blood pressure," he told the BBC. He said patients with high blood pressure who routinely checked their blood pressure at home should also follow the advice. "If they are being treated on the basis of their blood pressure, it's important to know if there's a difference between arms so they know their treatment is based on the correct measurements in the future." A previous analysis of 28 study papers in The Lancet also found that a large difference in readings could mean an increased risk of vascular disease and death. Maureen Talbot, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: "This study supports national guidelines, which recommend that blood pressure readings are taken in both arms. It is normal to have a small difference in your blood pressure readings between arms. "However, a big difference between your readings may carry risks, so more tests could be needed to check your heart health. If you want to find out your blood pressure, visit your GP or practice nurse to have it measured." People [...]