CVD deaths up with fall in temperature

A COOL change can bump up CVD mortality for weeks, whereas the extra risk from a hot period can evaporate within a day, a Brisbane-based study has found.

Researchers from the Queensland University of Technology analysed almost 23,000 cardiovascular deaths that occurred in the city, along with temperature data, from 1996 to 2004.

The analysis showed that a 1°C increase in mean temperature raised CVD mortality by 3.7% in people aged over 65, and by 3.5% for all ages, but this effect lasted no more than one day. 

However, a 1°C drop in mean temperature from 24°C increased CVD mortality by 3.1% in people aged over 65, and by 2.8% overall, and was accompanied by a cold weather ‘lag’ time.

“Heat seems to induce an acute event in CVD for advanced forms of illness (e.g. myocardial infarction and stroke) among people who may be expected to die within a short period,” the researchers concluded.