Strokes linked to changes in weather
New research presented at the American Stroke Association's recent International Stroke Conference suggests that weather conditions and stroke risk may have a strong connection.
To conduct their study, researchers analyzed the medical records of 134,510 patients hospitalized in 2009-10 with ischemic stroke, which is caused by a blood clot blocking the blood flow to the brain. They then cross-referenced this data with meteorological records of temperature and dew point data from this period.
The team found that large daily temperature changes and higher-than-average air moisture were linked to higher hospitalization rates from stroke and that lower-than-average annual temperatures were also associated with death and hospitalization from stroke. They also found that although increases in daily temperature fluctuation and average dew point were associated with increased odds of hospitalization, there was no increased risk of death.
While weather really is stroke risk factor we can’t control, the study results suggest that people who are at risk for stroke may want to avoid being in a place where there are significant temperature changes and a high dew point.