Weather changes may be linked with stroke hospitalization, death

February 12, 2014, American Heart Association

Stroke hospitalization and death rates may rise and fall with changes in environmental temperature and dew point, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2014.

"Weather is not something people would typically associate with ; however, we've found weather conditions are among the multiple factors that are associated with hospitalizations," said Judith H. Lichtman, Ph.D., M.P.H., study author and an associate professor in Epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health in New Haven, Conn.

Researchers identified a nationwide sample of 134,510 people, 18 years and older, admitted to hospitals in 2009-10 for (caused by a blood clot that blocks blood flow in or leading to the brain). They then obtained and dew point data during that period.

They found:

  • Larger daily temperature changes and higher average dew point (indicating higher air moisture) were associated with higher stroke hospitalization rates.
  • Lower average annual temperatures were associated with stroke hospitalizations and death.
  • With each 1°F increase in average temperature, there was a 0.86 percent decrease in the odds of stroke hospitalization and a 1.1 percent decrease in the odds of dying in the hospital after stroke.
  • Increases in daily temperature fluctuation and average dew point were associated with increased odds of stroke hospitalization, but not with dying in the hospital.

"This study suggests that meteorological factors such as daily fluctuations in temperature and increased humidity may be stressors that increase stroke hospitalizations," Lichtman said. "People at risk for stroke may want to avoid being exposed to significant temperature changes and high dew point and, as always, be prepared to act quickly if they or someone they know experiences stroke signs and symptoms.

"Future research is needed to better understand the cause and effect of changes in weather conditions, as well as to explore potential mechanisms for this association."

Stroke risk factors that can be changed, treated or controlled include: high blood pressure; cigarette smoking; diabetes; carotid or other artery disease; peripheral artery disease; atrial fibrillation; other heart disease; sickle cell disease; high blood cholesterol; poor diet; physical inactivity; obesity; and excessive alcohol consumption.

Stroke signs and symptoms are facial drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty, sudden numbness or weakness of the leg, arm or face, sudden confusion or trouble understanding, sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes, sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, and sudden severe headache with no known cause.

Explore further: Shingles linked to increased risk of stroke in young adults

Related Stories

Shingles linked to increased risk of stroke in young adults

January 2, 2014
Having shingles may increase the risk of having a stroke years later, according to research published in the January 2, 2014, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Stroke trigger more deadly for African-Americans

February 7, 2014
Infection is a stronger trigger of stroke death in African- Americans than in whites, a University of Michigan study shows.

Impact of AF on stroke risk eliminated with multiple risk factors

September 1, 2013
Patients with five or more risk factors have the same stroke risk as patients with atrial fibrillation, according to research presented at the ESC Congress today by Dr. Christine Benn Christiansen from Denmark. The study ...

Video game teaches kids about stroke symptoms and calling 9-1-1

January 30, 2014
Children improved their understanding of stroke symptoms and what to do if they witness a stroke after playing a 15-minute stroke education video game, according to new research reported in the American Heart Association ...

How to quickly spot signs of stroke

May 13, 2013
(HealthDay)—Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arms or legs on one side of the body, confusion and trouble speaking are among the signs that someone is having a stroke. The sooner a stroke is recognized and treated, ...

First guidelines issued to prevent stroke in women

February 6, 2014
Just as heart attack symptoms may differ between men and women, so do stroke risks.

Recommended for you

Starting periods before age of 12 linked to heightened risk of heart disease and stroke

January 15, 2018
Starting periods early—before the age of 12—is linked to a heightened risk of heart disease and stroke in later life, suggests an analysis of data from the UK Biobank study, published online in the journal Heart.

'Decorated' stem cells could offer targeted heart repair

January 10, 2018
Although cardiac stem cell therapy is a promising treatment for heart attack patients, directing the cells to the site of an injury - and getting them to stay there - remains challenging. In a new pilot study using an animal ...

Exercise is good for the heart, high blood pressure is bad—researchers find out why

January 10, 2018
When the heart is put under stress during exercise, it is considered healthy. Yet stress due to high blood pressure is bad for the heart. Why? And is this always the case? Researchers of the German Centre for Cardiovascular ...

Two simple tests could help to pinpoint cause of stroke

January 10, 2018
Detecting the cause of the deadliest form of stroke could be improved by a simple blood test added alongside a routine brain scan, research suggests.

Heart-muscle patches made with human cells improve heart attack recovery

January 10, 2018
Large, human cardiac-muscle patches created in the lab have been tested, for the first time, on large animals in a heart attack model. This clinically relevant approach showed that the patches significantly improved recovery ...

Place of residence linked to heart failure risk

January 9, 2018
Location. Location. Location.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.