Cold weather may pose challenges to treating high blood pressure

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An analysis of electronic health records for more than 60,000 adults in the United States found that systolic, or top-number, blood pressure rose slightly during the winter compared to summer months. The health records were of adults being treated for high blood pressure from 2018 to 2023 at six health care centers of varying sizes located in the southeast and midwestern United States.

Blood pressure among patients diagnosed with hypertension appeared to slightly increase and rates of systolic, or top number, blood pressure being controlled during an outpatient visit appeared to slightly decrease during winter months, according to a new study to be presented at the American Heart Association's Hypertension Scientific Sessions 2023, held Sept. 7-10, 2023, in Boston.

"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," said lead study author Robert B. Barrett, a software engineer at the American Medical Association in Greenville, South Carolina.

The analysis of the health records found that, on average, participants' systolic blood pressure increased by up to 1.7 mm Hg in the winter months compared to the summer months. In addition, they found that blood pressure control rates decreased by up to 5% during the winter months.

Source: Healthcare Press (healthcarepress.net)

 

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