Seasonal influences on blood pressure in high normal to mild hypertensive range.
To investigate the seasonal influences on various arterial blood pressure measurements, 22 subjects in the high normal to mild hypertensive range were examined twice following the same protocol. In one group (13 subjects), measurements were first done in warm conditions and repeated 5-7 months later in cold conditions; in the second group (nine subjects) a reverse sequence was followed. Blood pressure was measured under casual conditions during a hand grip exercise test, mental arithmetic test, and submaximal multistage bicycle exercise test; during the following 24 hours, blood pressure was measured serially with a noninvasive ambulatory blood pressure recorder. Daily outdoor maximum and indoor laboratory temperatures were also obtained. In the cold season, significantly higher values (on the average by 5-10 mm Hg, p less than 0.01) were obtained in both groups for mean diastolic daytime blood pressure. For other measurements, a trend toward higher values in the cold season was observed in both groups, although statistical significance was not obtained in all instances. For nighttime measurements, irrespective of the seasonal sequence, lower values were observed in the second session. Significant correlations were found between the differences in the average daytime ambulatory blood pressures and the corresponding changes of daily maximum outdoor temperatures after 5-7 months. These observations indicate that arterial blood pressure may be strongly influenced by environmental temperature. This phenomenon should be taken into account both in the evaluation of the individual hypertensive patients and in the design and analysis of studies on arterial hypertension, especially when ambulatory blood pressure techniques are employed.
- Copyright © 1989 by American Heart Association