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Cold Weather Tied to Increased Risk of Stroke, STEMI

But more study needed to determine what strategies might cut those risks

TUESDAY, Sept. 1, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The onset of cold weather may increase the risk of ischemic stroke and ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) for some, according to two studies presented Saturday at the annual European Society of Cardiology Congress, held from Aug. 29 to Sept. 2 in London.

In one study, Tze-Fan Chao, M.D., a cardiologist at the Taipei Veterans General Hospital and National Yang-Ming University in Taiwan, and colleagues compared daily temperature records in six regions of Taiwan between 2000 and 2011 and the incidence of ischemic stroke among 289,559 new-onset atrial fibrillation patients. The analysis revealed stroke risk rose by 10 percent in spring and nearly 20 percent in winter, as compared with summertime risk.

A second study led by researchers from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada, found that with every 20-degree Fahrenheit drop in temperature, the risk for experiencing STEMI went up by 7 percent.

"We demonstrated that there is a clear relationship between daily temperature and the risk of STEMI," study author Shuangbo Liu, M.D., an adult cardiology resident at the University of Manitoba, noted in a news release from the European Society of Cardiology.

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