HomeLifestyleHealth & FitnessWhat Winter's Doing to Our Blood Pressure, New Study Reveals

What Winter’s Doing to Our Blood Pressure, New Study Reveals

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Hypertension: Is Winter the Real Culprit Behind Your Rising Numbers? New BP Study Shocks All

There’s a subtle shift in blood pressure patterns as winter sets in. The research set for presentation at the 2023 Hypertension Scientific Sessions by the American Heart Association in Boston highlights a mild rise in blood pressure levels among hypertension patients during colder months.

The 2023 Statistical Update from the American Heart Association indicates that almost 50% of American adults grapple with high blood pressure.

Past studies have pointed to seasonal fluctuations in these readings, particularly in the systolic value – the uppermost figure in a reading that represents the force against artery walls with each heartbeat.

Researchers delved into whether the seasonal control of blood pressure, specifically under 140/90 mm Hg in hypertensive patients, was consistent throughout the year.

“Despite the smaller degree of systolic blood pressure variation in comparison to previous studies on seasonality in blood pressure, we were surprised to observe a large degree of change in blood pressure control between winter and summer months,” remarks Robert B. Barrett from the American Medical Association, based in Greenville, South Carolina.

He adds, “Individuals with hypertension or values near the range of hypertension may benefit from periodic blood pressure monitoring and improvements in physical activity and nutritional patterns during winter months to offset adverse effects from seasonal blood pressure changes.”

An extensive review was conducted on the digital health records of 60,676 adults receiving hypertension treatment from July 2018 to June 2023 across six diverse healthcare facilities.

While all these individuals stayed on their initial hypertension medications during the study, these centers, located mainly in the Southeast and Midwest, ranged from smaller community clinics to grand university-affiliated hospitals.

As a part of an initiative backed by the American Medical Association aimed at improving healthcare quality, the team scrutinized blood pressure readings across different seasons.

Notably, most study participants were around 62 years old, with a little over half being white and nearly 60% being female.

Digging deeper into the data, it emerged that the winter months saw an uptick in the systolic blood pressure readings by up to 1.7 mm Hg when set against summer levels. Furthermore, the efficiency in managing blood pressure dipped by about 5% during the colder season.

The team suggests further studies could delve into seasonal patterns of heart-related ailments and mortality rates.

It’s crucial to note, however, that the digital records might not paint a complete health portrait of each participant since data was exclusive to the respective healthcare facility they frequented.

Source: Christoph Soeder/picture alliance via Getty Images

Image Credit: Shutterstock

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