May 29, 1998 transcript #: 235-5
Subject(s): Barometric pressure
Title: Blood Pressure
Summer heat might feel like it makes your blood boil, but it actually helps keep your blood pressure down. Hi Im Dave Thurlow for the Weather Notebook. More and more studies these days show that blood pressure has a small but clear connection to the seasons. Typically, your daytime blood pressure will read a bit higher during the winter than it will in the summer. Doctors think it has a lot to do with how we naturally react to cold weather. When our bodies need to conserve heat, in the winter, our blood vessels contract to help keep the blood's warmth inside. This tends to make our blood pressure go up. The winter-summer difference in blood pressure seems to peak during the day, when we are out and about, and it becomes weak or nonexistent at night. Keeping your home thermostat up a tad in the winter or throwing an extra log on the fire just might keep your blood pressure down just a smidgen.
One study showed that for every 3 degree rise in livingroom temperature in the winter, there would be about a 2 unit drop in blood pressure. So as we head into summer it might be a good time to take advantage of slightly lower blood pressure and get out and exercise your heart. Get out and take walk and enjoy the weather.
Please check our web site for information about some other health effects of weather thats mountwashington.org/notebook. Also if you have a question about weather leave it on the machine at the end of our toll free line at 1-888-724-6001. Bob Henson wrote todays show. Generous support for the Weather notebook is provided by Subaru, the beauty of all wheel drive and by The National Science Foundation.