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More heart failure deaths linked to extreme hot and cold

New research has shown that extreme hot and cold temperatures increase the risk of death in people with cardiovascular disease, especially heart failure.

An international study, published Monday in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation, examined more than 32 million cardiovascular deaths over four decades in more than two dozen countries.

It found that people with heart failure experienced the most excess deaths from extreme temperatures compared to those with other heart conditions.

“The decline in cardiovascular death rates since the 1960s is a huge public health achievement, as cardiologists have identified and treated individual risk factors such as smoking, physical inactivity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and others,” said researcher Dr. Barrak Alahmad. member of Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and faculty member of the College of Public Health at Kuwait University, said in a press release.

“The current challenge now is the environment and what climate change could hold for us.”

The study used health data, extracted from 567 cities in 27 countries across five continents between 1979 and 2019, via the Multi-Country Multi-City Collaborative Research Network.

The researchers compared cardiovascular deaths on the hottest and coldest 2.5% of days for each city with cardiovascular deaths in those same cities on days with optimal temperatures or when death rates were lowest. .

The study found that for every 1,000 cardiovascular deaths, extremely hot days accounted for 2.2 additional deaths, while extremely cold days accounted for 9.1 additional deaths.

When comparing types of heart disease, the greatest number of excess deaths were among people with heart failure, with 2.6 and 12.8 excess deaths occurring on extremely hot and cold days, respectively.

The researchers say the study is limited by the under-representation of South Asia, the Middle East and Africa in the data.

Dr Haitham Khraishah, study co-author and a cardiovascular disease researcher at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Medical Center, said the “progressive nature of heart failure” could make patients more vulnerable to temperature changes.

“This is an important finding because one in four people with heart failure are readmitted to hospital within 30 days of discharge, and only 20% of heart failure patients survive 10 years after discharge. diagnosis,” Khraishah said.

Researchers say that with climate change, strategies that could reduce the impact of extreme temperatures on cardiovascular disease are needed.

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