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A recent study shows that higher temperatures can mean higher blood pressure (BP) readings in elderly patients, while middle-aged patients experience lower BP readings. Researchers suggest that doctors should consider adjusting dosing of BP medication in the summer in patients who reflect these changes. The findings of the study were reported in the December 2005 issue of Hypertension.
Researchers tracked the 24-hour BP readings of >6400 people, average age 59, over a 14-month period. They then correlated those measurements with round-theclock weather reports. When the weather was hot (daytime temperatures from 78ºF to >90ºF), daytime systolic BP was noticeably lower than on cooler days. Hotter nights were associated with higher BP readings in patients >65 years of age, but not in younger patients.