- Winters are setting in, and so are the chances of getting sick
- The cold weather may up the risk of heart failure in elderly
- Impact of changes in temperature and air pressure may affect this
The study led by a team of researchers at the Universite Laval and Universite de Sherbrooke in Quebec, Canada reveals the impact of changes in temperature and air pressure on heart failure patients. Lead author Pierre Gosselin from Universitie Laval in Canada said that doctors rarely take the weather forecast into account when treating or making recommendations to heart failure patients."So with the extreme differences in temperature due to climate change, we wanted to show how the weather is becoming a more relevant factor," Gosselin added.
The team assessed about 1,12,793 people aged 65 years and older that had been diagnosed with heart failure in Quebec between 2001 and 2011. These participants were followed for an average 635 days. During this period, they measured the mean temperature, relative humidity, atmospheric pressure and air pollutants in the surrounding environment and studied the data to see if there was an association. The results showed a higher risk of hospitalisation or death in the winter period of the year.
During the follow up period, 21, 157 heart failure events occurred. In total, 18,309 people were hospitalized and 4,297 died. This means that they should avoid exposure to fog and low cloud weather in winter as they often accompany high pressure systems