Not everyone knows that the arrival of winter can worsen the condition of those suffering from hypertension, here’s what the researchers found.
Lowering temperatures can bring negative consequences, such as an increased risk of suffering from high blood pressure . With the arrival of winter, many people begin to experience hypertensive crises , which is why it is recommended to pay particular attention when winter arrives.
Pressure, according to a Japanese scientific research, is closely influenced by variations in temperature, both for external and internal environments. For this reason, during the change of season those who tend to suffer from hypertension should follow some precautions in order to reduce the risk of high blood pressure and related cardiovascular disorders .
What science says
To demonstrate that the low temperature inside homes is risky for those suffering from high blood pressure, some researchers conducted a study on a sample of 5,000 people, made up of more than 2,500 families. The participants underwent numerous tests using specific monitoring sensors designed especially for them by Japanese scientists.
The research was carried out during the winter season between 2014 and 2019. The investigation consisted in checking some rooms of the house, specifically the kitchen, the bedroom and the living room, simultaneously with the blood pressure of the individuals. The latter was measured twice in the morning and twice in the evening, for a total of two weeks.
Well, this groundbreaking study has shown that around 90% of people subjected to the experiment live in homes with temperatures that are too cold, ie below 18°C . The phenomenon turned out to be more frequent in those households with a low income and therefore with a lower purchasing power. But let’s see the results of the study in detail: it emerged that the maximum temperature recorded in the rooms was 16.8 °C , while the minimum reached 11.2 °C .
Why does blood pressure rise if it’s cold?
It is not obvious to immediately understand why blood pressure increases as the external or internal temperature drops . This mechanism is part of a precise survival system typical of the functioning of all mammals.
The latter retain heat to promote organ health. The arteries, therefore, narrow in such a way as to keep the body temperature constant . This causes internal pressure to increase as a result, increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and cardiac arrests.
In addition to the aforementioned Japanese study , there are many researches that have confirmed the correlation between the arrival of winter and a greater registration of cases of hypertension. Furthermore, the critical phase seems to be precisely that of the transition periods between one season and another since the body has not yet gotten used to surviving the new temperatures.
One of the most interesting aspects of this study was to highlight the particular paradox according to which the lower the temperature in the rooms, the higher the pressure rises . We can therefore state that the thermal condition is closely linked to the condition of cardiovascular health especially in older people .
The results of the research also demonstrated a variation in pressure based on the time of day: the temperature in the morning is higher than in the evening, where instead a decrease of 10°C is recorded. This sensitivity was also greater in those individuals aged over 57 and in women .
The damage of unstable pressure
Scholars have also found that one of the causes of damage to the cardiovascular system is not only high blood pressure, but also the perennial instability of the latter. The continuous fluctuations to which it is subjected during the course of the day can lead to serious risks regarding the health of the arteries.
Sometimes, even a slight difference in temperature , such as that which occurs between day and night, can be detrimental to people with hypertension . This is because the pressure must be as constant as possible especially in the house where you live. The study reiterates the importance of living in a house with a temperature above 18° C, all the better if subjected to thermal insulation as is happening more and more frequently in the construction of new buildings. In fact, it is enough to insulate the wallsexterior or the floor, paying particular attention to the state of the roof and the windows which should have double glazing in order to shield the house well from the winter cold. These simple precautions can be very effective in reducing mortality caused by sudden changes in temperature and pressure when you are in a new season of the year.
Experts therefore recommend keeping the home temperature under control, also relying on the guidelines that the World Health Organization (WHO) published a few years ago, in 2018.
- Cold and hypertension, what is the ideal temperature at home to avoid risks (today.it)
- What is the ideal temperature to keep at home? (medicalpages.it)