(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Chilly weather may give you more than just the
shivers. New research suggests it may be responsible for increased blood
pressure in a certain demographic.
Outdoor temperate and blood pressure appear to be correlated in the elderly,
according to a new study from the Institut National de la Santé et de la
Récherche Médicale in Paris. Seasonal variations in blood pressure had been
reported on in previous studies, however this study was the first to look
specifically at older people.
"Elderly persons may be particularly susceptible to temperature-related
variations in blood pressure," study authors were quoted as saying.
Researchers assessed the relationship blood pressure and temperature in 8,801
individuals age 65 and older. Blood pressure readings were taken twice, two
years apart and outdoor temperatures from local meteorological offices were
obtained to match the day each patient was tested.
Both systolic (top-number) and diastolic (bottom-number) blood pressures
differed across the four seasons and across the distributions of outdoor
temperatures. Average systolic blood pressure was five millimeters of mercury
higher in winter than in summer. High blood pressure -- defined as a systolic
blood pressure of 160 millimeters of mercury or higher, or a diastolic blood
pressure of 95 millimeters of mercury or higher -- was detected in 33.4 percent
of participants during winter and 23.8 percent during summer.
Although our study does not demonstrate a causal link between blood pressure and
external temperature, the observed relationship nevertheless has potentially
important consequences for blood pressure management in the elderly," study
SOURCE: Archives of Internal Medicine, 2009;169:75-80