As Temperature Drops, Blood Pressure Rises

Hypertension harder to control in chillier season, study finds
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 6, 2007 5:10 PM CST
A doctor takes his patient's blood pressure. Blood pressure may be harder to control in the Winter, a new study shows.   (KRT Photos)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Hypertension is significantly harder to control in the winter, researchers said yesterday, and the link between season and blood pressure isn't related to climate. Sixty percent of 443,632 veterans in a VA study showed significant changes in winter blood pressure control. The likely reason? People tend to stay inside instead of exercising and eat saltier foods in winter, Reuters reports.

The 5-year study looked at cities from Anchorage to San Juan. Subjects gained weight during the winter, and the study leader speculated that weight gain led to higher blood pressure rather than the other way around. The incidence of heart attacks and strokes, which are linked to hypertension, also rises in the winter, said another expert.