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Is not turning up the thermostat giving you high blood pressure?

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People living in colder homes are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, a study has found.

Researchers found that there was a statistically significant link between the temperature in people’s living rooms and that person’s blood pressure.

With a decrease in temperature, there was an increase in blood pressure.

The researchers suggested that turning up the thermostat may help manage hypertension.

Research suggests its worth turning the heat up in your home
Image:
Research suggests its worth turning the heat up in your home

Blood pressure readings consist of two figures given together:

:: Systolic pressure, the pressure when your heart pushes blood out

:: Diastolic pressure, the pressure when your heart rests between beats

The study found that every 1C decrease in indoor temperature was associated with rises of 0.48 mmHg in systolic blood pressure and 0.45 mmHg in diastolic blood pressure.

According to the NHS, ideal blood pressure is considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg

Experts from University College London (UCL) looked at data from more than 4,600 adults. The survey has been published in the Journal of Hypertension.

“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,” said senior author Dr Stephen Jivraj of UCL’s Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care.

GP checking a patient's blood pressure
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People’s blood pressure has been found to rise when in a colder room

“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.”

During bouts of particularly cold weather officials issue warnings to people whose health is particularly at risk, including young children, older people and those with heart or lung conditions.

Official advice suggests people to heat their homes to at least 18C (64.4F).

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