Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Seasonal variation in blood pressure

A French study reported in the 12th January issue of Archives of Internal Medicine has found a strong correlation between blood pressure and outdoor temperature in a large sample of the elderly.(1)

As a result, the investigators advise that, during periods of extreme temperatures, careful monitoring of blood pressure and antihypertensive treatment “could contribute to reducing the consequences of blood pressure variations in the elderly”.

The study, which monitored 8801 participants over the age of 65 in the French Three-City study, found that systolic and diastolic blood pressure values differed significantly across the four seasons of the year and according to the distribution of outdoor temperature. The higher the temperature, the greater the decrease in blood pressure. Systolic blood pressure, for example, decreased with increasing temperature, with an 8.0 mmHg decrease between the lowest (

Average systolic blood pressure was 5 mmHg higher in winter than in summer. High blood pressure, defined as a systolic blood pressure of 160 mmHg or higher, or a diastolic blood pressure of 95 mmHg or higher, was detected in 33.4 per cent of participants during winter and 23.8 percent during summer. These changes in blood pressure were greater in subjects 80 years or older than in younger participants.

Participants' blood pressure was measured at the beginning of the study (starting in 1999) and again about two years later. Outdoor temperatures on the day of measurement were obtained from local meteorological offices. Participants in the Three-City study were from Bordeaux, Dijon and Montpellier.

"Although our study does not demonstrate a causal link between blood pressure and external temperature, the observed relationship nevertheless has potentially important consequences for blood pressure management in the elderly," the authors state. "Because the risk of stroke or aneurysmal rupture is highest in the elderly, improved protection against these diseases by close monitoring of blood pressure and antihypertensive medication when outdoor temperature is very low could be considered."

Speaking on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), Professor Frank Ruschitzka from the University Hospital, Zurich, says that the study reaffirms the place of the elderly as a target group for blood pressure monitoring. “The elderly, especially the increasing number of octogenarians, should not be neglected. They need extra care, and will benefit from monitoring and appropriate treatment. This study emphasises the need for year-round vigilance.”

One possible explanation for the study findings, adds Professor Ruschitzka, lies in the emerging link between vitamin D and blood pressure. The elderly, especially those in care homes, are subject to vitamin D deficiency, largely as a result of their limited exposure to sunlight, and vitamin D deficiency can predispose to hyptertension via activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. “The benefit of sunlight on vitamin D levels in the elderly is under appreciated,” says Professor Ruschitzka. “Fifteen minutes exposure to sunlight can produce the equivalent of 2000 international units vitamin D.”

A report from the Framingham Heart Study published in 2008 found that moderate vitamin D deficiency nearly doubles the risk of myocardial infarction, stroke and heart failure over a mean of 5.4 years in patients with high blood pressure.(2) The Nurses Health Study, also reporting in 2008, found that lower blood levels of vitamin D are independently associated with an increased risk of hypertension; women with the lowest levels had a 66 per cent higher incidence of hypertension than those with the highest levels.(3) References:

1. Alpérovitch A, Lacombe J-M, Hanon O, et al. Relationship Between Blood Pressure and Outdoor Temperature in a Large Sample of Elderly Individuals: The Three-City Study. Arch Intern Med 2009; 169: 75-80.

2. Wang TJ, Pencina MJ, Booth SL, et al. Vitamin D deficiency and risk of cardiovascular disease. Circulation 2008; 117: 503-511.

3. Forman JP, Curhan JC, Taylor EN. Plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and risk of incident hypertension among young women. Hypertension 2008; 52: 828-832.

ESC Press Office | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VDI presents International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation

26.10.2016 | Awards Funding

3-D-printed magnets

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>