As winter progresses, most people are turning up the thermostats in their home. However, a warmer home does not just make us more comfortable; according to a study published in the Journal of Hypertension, it also protects us against high blood pressure (hypertension).
The British study, which followed nearly 5000 people, found that every degree (Celsius) decrease in home temperature correlated with a 0.48 mmHg increase in systolic blood pressure and a 0.45 mmHg increase in diastolic blood pressure.
Normal blood pressure ranges from 90/60 mmHg to 120/80 mmHg. The top number represents systolic blood pressure, and the bottom number represents diastolic blood pressure. In the coldest homes in the study, the average blood pressure was 127/75 — considered pre-high blood pressure. However, in the warmest homes in the study, the average blood pressure was 121/71 — normal blood pressure.
Could it be that socioeconomic differences led to this result, that people who could not afford to heat their homes properly could also not afford proper medical treatment? The study controlled for these factors, as well as for other demographic differences and outdoor temperature, and the results remained the same.
What is the indoor temperature associated with normal blood pressure? The study’s authors recommend a minimum temperature of 70°F (21°C).
The study’s authors also commented that their findings may explain the higher rates of hypertension found in winter than in milder seasons. They recommend publicizing the findings in public health messages, and having clinicians take indoor temperatures into account when diagnosing and treating hypertension.
Beacon of LIFE, in Oceanport, NJ, is a government-approved PACE program created to provide seniors, their family, caregivers and professional health care providers the flexibility to meet their health care needs while continuing to live in their community.
Beacon of LIFE maintains an interdisciplinary team of professionals who give each client the coordinated care they need. Our staff specialize in working with older people, and work with each client and their family to develop the most effective plan of care.
Our care and services allow people who would otherwise need to live in a nursing home to live where they want — in their own communities, in their own homes.