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Lower temperature at home may be contributing to your high blood pressure problem

Posted August 25, 2018

High blood pressure is a risk factor for a stroke or heart disease. Furthermore, it may be an indication that something else is wrong in patient‘s cardiovascular system. Or that patient’s rooms are too cold, maybe. Scientists from UCL found the link between cool indoor temperatures and high blood pressure. That explains why in winter more people are suffering from hypertension.

Lower temperatures at home may be a risk factor for hypertension. Image credit: OpenStax via Wikimedia (CC BY 4.0)

There is a number of ways to manage hypertension. You can change your lifestyle and your diet, use medicine and generally follow doctor’s recommendations. One way is turning up your thermostat at home, as this new study found. Researchers found that every 1°C decrease in indoor temperature was associated with rises of 0.48 mmHg in systolic blood pressure and 0.45 mmHg in diastolic blood pressure. That is quite significant and explains why in winter months doctors diagnose more cases of hypertension and why there are more deaths from stroke and heart disease when it is cold. Remember that heat is not free – people have to pay for heating and some choose to save some money and live in a little bit cooler environment.

Scientists say that temperatures at home should be taken into consideration when new patients are diagnosed. At first scientists interviewed some participants of the study with a questionnaire covering general health and lifestyle factors. Then they had nurses to visit 4,659 participants in their homes, measure their blood pressure and to take an indoor temperature reading in their living room. Then it was just a matter of connecting the dots for scientists to eliminate extra factors and conclude that cooler temperatures at home can be associated with higher blood pressure. Interestingly, there have been speculations before about the possibility of this link, but it was proven only now.

So what is the recommendation of scientists? Well, obviously, to heat your home appropriately during winter months. For now no one knows that the appropriate temperature would be, but scientists estimate around 21 degrees Celsius should be ok. Also, to measure your blood pressure routinely. Hongde Zhao, co-author of the study, added – “We would suggest that clinicians take indoor temperature into consideration, as it could affect a diagnosis if someone has borderline hypertension, and people with cooler homes may also need higher doses of medications”.

Your home is your fortress and you should feel comfortable. Make sure the temperature is appropriate and you are not cold. Also, measure your blood pressure frequently and go to the doctor once you notice any problems.

Source: UCL

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