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.
Karen Astle | EurekAlert!
Amputees can learn to control a robotic arm with their minds
28.11.2017 | University of Chicago Medical Center
The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
15.12.2017 | Trade Fair News
15.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
15.12.2017 | Information Technology