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Weather and Stroke Risk
Story Updated: Feb 14, 2014
Weather changes may significantly affect stroke risk, a new study reveals.
An analysis presented at a meeting of the American Stroke Association... linked fluctuations in both temperature and air moisture to a shifting risk for stroke hospitalization and death.
The nationwide study focused on more than 134,500 patients, 18 and up, who were admitted to a hospital between 2009 and 2010. All had experienced an ischemic stroke the type that occurs when a clot blocks blood flow to the brain. Temperature and dew point information was obtained from the National Climatic Data Center.
After analyzing the data, the researchers concluded that larger daily temperature changes were linked to higher stroke hospitalization rates. Higher air moisture levels were also associated with a bump in stroke hospitalization rates. However, neither of these factors was linked to a higher risk for dying from a stroke once hospitalized. The researchers also found that lower average annual temperatures were associated with both hospitalization and death after stroke.
The researchers say these findings indicate that certain meteorological aspects may be stressors for stroke and they suggest people at risk may want to avoid being exposed to significant fluctuations in temperature and high dew points.
I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the information you need to protect your health.