Heart Beat – March 2023


Temperature Extremes May Be Deadly for Heart Patients

A review of deaths over a 40-year period in cities around the world has revealed an increase in cardiovascular deaths during periods of extreme high and low temperatures. The researchers tracked deaths from any cardiovascular cause, as well as deaths from ischemic heart disease, stroke, heart failure and arrhythmia, and noted the daily temperatures. Compared with the temperature associated with the lowest mortality, they discovered that extremes of heat and cold were associated with a high risk of death from any cardiovascular cause, ischemic heart disease, stroke and heart failure. The highest number of excess deaths at both temperature extremes occurred with heart failure. Extreme heat accounted for 2.2 excess deaths per 1,000 cardiovascular deaths, but extreme cold accounted for 9.1 excess deaths (Circulation, Jan. 3, 2023).

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