Srinagar, Dec 20 : As extreme cold blankets Kashmir, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Friday said frigid temperatures put people at greater risk of high blood pressure.
“The drop in temperature during winter actually raises mercury in blood pressure gauges,” said DAK President Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a statement.
“High blood pressure is harder to control in cold weather. Even healthy people aren’t off the hook. They also tend to have higher blood pressure in winter,” he said. “Various studies have shown that winter chill brings elevated blood pressure in adults, elderly and children,” Dr Nisar said.
Quoting a study, he said blood pressure was found to be 30 mm Hg higher in winter than at other times of the year. Dr Nisar said freezing temperatures constrict blood vessels which increases blood pressure because more pressure is needed to force blood through narrowed vessels. “Hormones, like adrenaline increase in response to cold and they cause hike in blood pressure,” he said adding “lack of sunlight during winter reduces vitamin D levels which increases blood pressure.”
Dr Nisar said people are sedentary in winter, staying inside and eating more, that causes weight gain which contributes to hypertension. “Also, air pollution is higher in winter than summer which could be a factor,” he added.
“High blood pressure is a risk for majority of heart attacks, strokes and kidney failures which are the leading causes of death and disability in Kashmir valley,” he informed. “In order to maintain your blood pressure keep yourself warm. If you move out, dress in layers, wear a hat, gloves and scarf. Avoid going in chill for walk and move your workout inside. Eat healthy diet and don’t forget to take your vitamin D. If you are on blood pressure lowering pill take it regularly and at bedtime,” advised Dr Nisar.