In winter months, doctors see increased number of people with hypertension, as well as increased cases of deaths from stroke and heart disease. A recent study shows it’s linked to the cool indoor temperatures. The study also suggests that turning up the thermostat may help manage hypertension.
This study was conducted by researchers of UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care, and was published in Journal of Hypertension.
As the senior author said: “Among other diet and lifestyle changes people can make to reduce high blood pressure, our findings suggest that keeping homes a bit warmer could also be beneficial.”
The researchers found that every 1°C decrease in indoor temperature was associated with rises of 0.48 mmHg in systolic blood pressure(the top number) and 0.45 mmHg in diastolic blood pressure(the bottom number).
The research team found the effect of indoor temperature on blood pressure was stronger among people who do not exercise regularly, suggesting that physical activity could mitigate the risk of living in a cool environment, and that people who do not exercise need to keep warmer to manage their blood pressure.
While the study did not identify a threshold for a warm enough home, the researchers suggest that keeping living rooms to at least 21°C could be advisable for general health.