Why it is hard to manage high blood pressure in winter

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A study to be presented at the American Heart Association’s Hypertension Scientific Sessions 2023 in Boston reveals a slight but notable seasonal variation in blood pressure among patients diagnosed with hypertension.

This study, significant in its focus on the relationship between blood pressure and various health conditions, indicates an increase in systolic blood pressure and a decrease in control rates during winter months.

According to the American Heart Association’s 2023 Statistical Update, almost half of U.S. adults suffer from high blood pressure, a concerning statistic that underscores the importance of effective hypertension management.

Previous studies have shown that blood pressure can vary with the seasons, particularly in systolic measurements.

The aim of this new study was to ascertain whether blood pressure control, defined as less than 140/90 mm Hg in hypertensive patients, differed across seasons.

The researchers analyzed electronic health records from July 2018 to June 2023 of 60,676 adults treated for hypertension at six healthcare centers in the Southeast and Midwest.

Key Findings: Winter Variations in Blood Pressure

The study found an average increase of up to 1.7 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure during winter months. There was also a notable decrease of up to 5% in blood pressure control rates during this period.

These changes were surprising to the research team, led by Robert B. Barrett, given the smaller degree of systolic blood pressure variation in comparison to previous studies.

The findings suggest that individuals with hypertension or borderline high blood pressure could benefit from more frequent monitoring during winter months.

Improvements in physical activity and nutritional patterns are also recommended to counteract the adverse effects of these seasonal blood pressure changes.

Future Research Directions

The study authors propose that future research could explore the correlation between the frequency of heart disease and deaths with seasonal changes.

This could provide deeper insights into the impact of seasonal variations on overall cardiovascular health.

In conclusion, the study presented at the Hypertension Scientific Sessions 2023 provides valuable information on the seasonal variations in blood pressure control among hypertensive patients.

This knowledge is crucial for healthcare providers and patients in managing hypertension more effectively, particularly during the winter months.

If you care about blood pressure, please read studies about how diets could help lower high blood pressure, and 3 grams of omega-3s a day keep high blood pressure at bay.

For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies that beetroot juice could help reduce blood pressure, and results showing cinnamon could help lower high blood pressure.

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