Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 34 n° 349

Scientists warn of worsening heart disease as global warming sees temperatures soar

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 27 settembre 2022

Sophia-Antipolis. A nationwide study in France has reported that during the 2019 heatwave, hot temperatures were closely linked with weight loss in heart failure patients, indicating worsening of their condition. The study is published today in ESC Heart Failure, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology.In patients with heart failure, the heart does not pump blood around the body as well as it should. Waste products accumulate, causing shortness of breath and fluid build-up in the lungs, legs and abdomen. Weight is the cornerstone of monitoring because weight gain is related to congestion, the main reason for hospital admission. Diuretics, also called water pills, are used to increase urine output and reduce breathlessness and swelling. ESC guidelines recommend educating patients to increase their diuretic dose or alert their healthcare team if they experience an increase in breathlessness or swelling or a sudden unexpected weight gain of more than 2 kg in three days.2 Weight loss has received less attention.The authors of the current study hypothesised that the body weight of patients with heart failure could change during a heatwave. Professor Roubille explained: “When healthy people drink more fluids during hot weather, the body automatically regulates urine output. This does not apply to patients with heart failure because they take diuretics.”The study examined the relationship between body weight and air temperature between 1 June and 20 September 2019, which covered the two heatwaves at the end of June and end of July. The analysis included 1,420 patients with chronic heart failure. The median age was 73 years, 28% were women, and the average weight was 78 kg. A national telemonitoring system was used to remotely obtain information on weight and symptoms. Patients weighed themselves every day using a connected weighing scale that automatically sent measurements to the clinic. Patients reported daily symptoms such as oedema, fatigue, breathlessness and cough by answering questions on a personal device (e.g. smartphone, tablet), with answers sent automatically to the clinic. Daily temperatures (at noon) were obtained using data from the closest weather station to each patient’s home.The researchers analysed the association between patient weight, ambient temperature on the same day, and temperature two days prior to the weight measurement. The relationship between temperature and weight was very strong, with weight dropping as temperature rose. The strongest relationship was found with temperatures two days prior to the weight measurement.

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