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Scientists have been investigating the temperatures of our homes and the impact on our blood pressure.

 

Incredibly, the researchers from University College London (UCL) found that people living in colder homes could have higher blood pressure.

 

The experts analysed data from 4,600 adults who took part in the 2014 Health Survey for England, and followed up with a home visit to check blood pressure and indoor living room temperature.

 

The new study published in the Journal of Hypertension, concluded that a decrease in room temperature could lead to an increase in blood pressure.

 

 

Blood pressure readings consist of two figures given together: systolic pressure, the pressure when your heart pushes blood out, and diastolic pressure, the pressure when your heart rests between beats.

 

The NHS says between 90/60 mmHg and 120/80 mmHg, is ideal blood pressure. 

 

The study's findings uncovered that for every 1°C decrease in indoor temperature, systolic blood pressure rose by 0.48 mmHg and 0.45 mmHg in diastolic blood pressure.

 

 

Senior author Dr Stephen Jivraj (UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care) said:

 

"Our research has helped to explain the higher rates of hypertension, as well as potential increases in deaths from stroke and heart disease, in the winter months, suggesting indoor temperatures should be taken more seriously in diagnosis and treatment decisions, and in public health messages." 

 

"Among other diet and lifestyle changes people can make to reduce high blood pressure, our findings suggest that keeping homes a bit warmer could also be beneficial," he added.

 

 

As the summer draws to a close and the colder months are impending, heating homes during the winter could help to reduce hypertension, said the experts.

 

Those who are particularly vulnerable during the colder snaps are older adults or people with a family history of hypertension.

 

The researchers suggested it could be beneficial to our health if we maintain a living room temperature of 21°C. 

 

"The findings demonstrate support for universal benefit schemes such as the Winter Fuel Payment, which could be extended to enable everyone to heat their homes without worrying about the financial cost," said co-author Hongde Zhao (UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care).

 

Winter is only around the corner and its important to remember as the temperatures drop, we should regularly check-in on elderly neighbours, friends and family. 

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