Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Seasonal Differences In Blood Pressure Discovered

Date:
November 9, 2007
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
Fewer people treated for high blood pressure return to normal pressure levels in the winter compared to those treated in the summer, according to recent research. The large five-year study analyzed electronic health records from 15 VA hospitals in warmer and colder cities throughout the United States. Researchers identified 443,632 veterans with high blood pressure.

Winter scene. Blood pressure systematically worsens in the winter and improves in the summer.
Credit: Michele Hogan

Fewer people treated for high blood pressure return to normal pressure levels in the winter compared to those treated in the summer, Veterans Affairs (VA) researchers reported at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2007.

The five-year study analyzed electronic health records from 15 VA hospitals in warmer and colder cities throughout the United States. Researchers identified 443,632 veterans with high blood pressure. Those who had readings of more than 140 mm Hg systolic or more than 90 mm Hg diastolic on three separate days were identified as hypertensive.

"The bottom line is that regardless of whether you're in Anchorage, Alaska or San Juan, Puerto Rico, there is a difference in high blood pressure returning to normal in the winter compared to the summer," said Ross D. Fletcher, M.D., the study's lead author and chief of staff at the VA Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

The study found a significant variation in every city, warmer or colder, in return to normal blood pressure in winter compared to summer. The average significant difference in percent of patients returning to normal was 7.76 percent between the two seasons, based on patients' blood pressure readings as recorded in their Electronic Health Record.

The average age of veterans in the study was 66 years. About 51 percent were Caucasian, 21 percent Hispanic and 27 percent black. Only 3.7 percent were female.

"San Juan is virtually equal to Anchorage, as blood pressure systematically worsens in the winter and improves in the summer," Fletcher said. "We did not see the coldest city had the biggest change in blood pressure."

The other 13 VA hospitals included those in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Fargo, Honolulu, Houston, west Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, Ore., and Washington, D.C.

Fletcher suggested that weight and exercise may play a role in these seasonal variations rather than southern or northern climate or the amount of light.

"There is a weight change that is significant," Fletcher said. "People gain weight in the winter and lose weight in the summer. People tend to exercise more in the summer and less in the winter."

He emphasized the importance of designing treatment strategies for patient's high blood pressure to account for these seasonal variations, perhaps requiring increased anti-hypertensive intervention during the winter months.

VA hospitals in all cities demonstrated improvement from the beginning to the end of the study. Improvement averaged about 4 percent per year in the VA hospital system overall.

The award-winning electronic health record system, containing 1.8 billion vital records, and data on the nearly 1,192,781 patients with more than 19 million blood pressure records, is one important factor in improving the treatment of high blood pressure, Fletcher said. The electronic system feeds back blood pressure information from each patient to his doctor, with reminders when blood pressure needs to be checked, leading to rapid turn-around in blood pressure control.

Co-authors are Robert Kolodner, M.D.; Richard Amdur, Ph.D.; Robert Williamson, Ph.D.; Charles Faselis, M.D.; Christopher McManus, M.A.; and Ronald Jones, M.S.E.E.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Seasonal Differences In Blood Pressure Discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 November 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071105091926.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2007, November 9). Seasonal Differences In Blood Pressure Discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071105091926.htm
American Heart Association. "Seasonal Differences In Blood Pressure Discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071105091926.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins