Does cold weather affect blood pressure?

Did you know that, as per the research of the University of Florida into ‘Does cold weather affect blood pressure’, it was concluded that cold weather can affect blood pressure.

The simple answer to ‘Does cold weather affect blood pressure’ is yes, particularly for those who suffer from high blood pressure all year, causing their blood pressure to rise even higher than usual.

In addition to cold temperatures, an abrupt change in weather patterns can affect blood pressure. Your body may react similarly to cold, sudden changes in humidity, air pressure, cloud cover, or wind. These weather-related blood pressure changes are more prevalent in adults above 65 and older. 

The following article examines does cold weather affect blood pressure and what precautions one can take to control their blood pressure levels in the winter months.[1]

Table of Contents:

What is high blood pressure?

What causes high blood pressure?

Does cold weather affect blood pressure?

How can I manage high blood pressure in winter?

Is there any medication that will help reduce my blood pressure?

What is high blood pressure?

High blood pressure (hypertension) is a condition in which the force of the blood pushing against the artery walls is greater than normal, forcing the heart to work harder than usual. By the time as arteries grow narrower, the risk of you developing high blood pressure increases. Increased pressure can lead to severe problems such as stroke or heart disease in the long run. 

Additionally, hypertension usually develops over a long period, and in most cases, individuals don’t get any noticeable symptoms. High blood pressure can harm your organs and blood vessels, including the brain, heart, eyes, and kidneys, even if you don’t have any  symptoms.[2]

Man taking blood pressure test at home

What causes high blood pressure?

Genetics, age, family health history, lack of exercise, environment, and poor eating habits contribute to high blood pressure. It can also be altered by certain medications and other health conditions such as diabetes or kidney problems. High blood pressure hasn’t been labelled a disease; instead, it’s viewed as a common risk factor for various other ailments.[3]

Does cold weather affect blood pressure?

Multiple studies based on single or repeated measurements among adults, the elderly, children, and healthy and hypertensive participants have shown a seasonal influence on arterial blood pressure.

A link between blood pressure and outdoor temperature was also discovered in 8801 older adults taking part in a study done in three French towns. SBP declined with rising temperature in that study, with a difference of 8.0 mm Hg between the lowest (7.9°C) and highest (21.2°C) temperature quintiles.

Another study based on only 96 subjects recruited in one general practice indicated that a 1 degree C decrease in living-room temperature was related to increases of 1.3 mmHg in SBP and 0.6 mmHg in DBP in those aged 65 to 74 years.[4]

How can I manage high blood pressure in winter?

Some lifestyle changes and a few basic precautions are more than enough to lower the risk of hypertension in the winter. These include proper indoor heating, wearing protective garments and avoiding going out in freezing weather if you are above 65. A healthy diet and frequent exercise can also help to ensure that our lifestyles are at least as healthy in the winter as in the summer.

Weight gain and decreased physical activity, both typical in the winter, are other seasonal causes of high blood pressure. If you already have high blood pressure, keep track of your readings as the season’s change and speak with your doctor if you notice any sudden changes.

Your doctor may advise you to adjust the dose of your blood pressure medication or switch to a different one. Make no alterations to your prescriptions without consulting your doctor first. [5]

Is there any medication that will help reduce my blood pressure?

High blood pressure can cause several health problems. Fortunately, it can be treated with the medications listed below:

Ramipril Capsules

Ramipril capsules from e-Surgery

Amlodipine Capsules

Amlodipine 10mg tablets 28 pack from e-Surgery

Bisoprolol Capsules

Bisoprolol fumarate 28 pack from e-Surgery

Furthermore, you can begin improving your health without using any medications. Eating a healthy diet and getting more exercise will help strengthen your heart and reduce the strain on your arteries. It also aids in losing excess weight, such as visceral fat around the waist, which is a significant contributor to high blood pressure.[6]

Does cold weather affect blood pressure? If you have hypertension or are elderly, then you should take some extra precautions during winters.

However, if you stay warm and take care of your immune system, you’ll have the best chance of keeping your blood pressure under control during the colder months.

It may be difficult for older individuals to control their body temperature. This puts them at greater risk in the event of severe weather. Thus, if you are over 65, keep an eye on your blood pressure levels and contact your doctor right away if you notice any sudden changes.

Sources

  1. Cold Weather Can Raise Blood Pressure (webmd.com)
  2. High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): Causes, Symptoms, and More (healthline.com)
  3. Can High Blood Pressure Cause Migraines? (E-Surgery)
  4. Winter Hypertension: Potential mechanisms (nih.gov)
  5. Blood pressure: Is it affected by cold weather? (Mayo Clinic)
  6. 5 Easy Home Remedies For Reducing Blood Pressure (E-Surgery)

Further Reading

  1. Cold Weather Can Raise Blood Pressure (Web Med)
  2. Winter Hypertension: Potential mechanisms (PubMed)
  3. Blood pressure: Is it affected by cold weather? (St Clair Health)

Category:

General Health Heart and Lung Health Seasonal Health

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