As Global Temperatures Rise, Scientists Worry that Heart Disease Will Get Worse

As Global Temperatures Rise, Scientists Worry that Heart Disease Will Get Worse

When the heart has chronic heart failure, it is unable to pump blood effectively to the rest of the body. This leads to a buildup of waste products, which manifests as a variety of unpleasant symptoms as congestion in the lungs, swelling, edema, fluid retention, weakness, lightheadedness, and irregular or rapid heartbeats.

Patients with heart failure are often offered diuretics, often known as water pills, to boost their urine production and alleviate symptoms including shortness of breath and fluid retention. These drugs cause the kidneys to excrete more water and salt than usual.

An intense heatwave hit Europe and France this summer of 2019.

  • Heatwaves that affect human health may occur more frequently due to climate change.
  • A nationwide study of 1,420 people with chronic heart failure in France reports that increased temperatures during a 2019 heatwave were closely linked to weight loss.
  • Weight monitoring for this condition is important because weight changes may result in lung congestion, the main cause of hospitalization.

It was expected by researchers at the University of Montpellier that weight changes among people with cardiac problems would occur during a heatwave, and that these changes might be measured using telemonitoring.

Recent research published in ESC Heart FailureTrusted Source, a journal issued by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), investigates the link between patients’ BMI and environmental temperature.

In the event of a change in symptoms or a sudden unexpected weight gain, it is recommended by current ECS guidelines that persons with heart issues increase their diuretic dose or consult their doctor.

Telemonitoring is an effective way of monitoring patients with heart failure, which uses technology to track a person’s weight in real-time.

The telemonitoring procedure entails people weighing themselves and entering that information into an electronic system, typically via a smartphone. However, if people aren’t taught how to submit data accurately or if they neglect to do so, this approach may have an effect on compliance and data collecting.

One advantage of telemonitoring is the speed with which data may be transmitted to a clinic, where doctors and other medical staff can be notified and take appropriate action.

CDM e-Health is an electronic chronic disease management system that was used to collect and evaluate data from persons with heart disease for the current study. When evaluating the results of two heatwaves that happened between June and September of 2019, they looked at data from that time frame.

Scientists analyzed the correlation between people’s weight and the temperature on the day of the weigh-in and the two days prior. As expected, they discovered a negative correlation between rising temperatures and increased body mass.

The researchers noted that the strongest relationship was found with temperatures two days prior to the weight measurement.

According to Medical News Today, the study’s principal author, Dr. François Roubille, Ph.D., president-elect of the Heart Failure group from the French Society of Cardiology (FSC), said, “excessive temperature could have an effect on patients, especially those with heart failure.”

When healthy people drink more fluids during hot weather, the body regulates their urine output. This does not work in the same way for people with heart failure because they take diuretics.

Dr. Roubille stated that heat waves could be particularly challenging for those who are already suffering from heart problems.

“Most significantly,” he continued, “they receive medications that might cause negative effects under excessive temperature, such diuretics.” The stress of a heatwave has been linked to significant weight gain in persons with heart failure, according to the study’s authors. Possible clinical deterioration may be reflected in the weight change.

Dr. Tharusha Gunawardena, a cardiologist at Ipswich Hospital in the U.K., not involved in the study, told MNT that “It’s great to finally have some numbers to back up the critical topic that the study poses. Although the effects of climate change are complicated, it is obvious that they are numerous and consequential.

In clinical practice, doctors should still think about how patients will be affected by heat and how that can change how they treat them.

Those with more severe forms of cardiac disease may benefit most from monitoring systems in this regard.

Dr. Roubille highlighted the importance of sharing better information about the impact of climate change on heart disease with the public. But it’s not just about sharing information; it’s important that individuals with heart disease also understand the information they’re given.

This emphasizes the importance of open lines of contact with their medical teams. People with chronic heart failure may fare better in their adaptation efforts if the scientific findings are effectively communicated to them.

Dr. Roubille points out that telemonitoring systems could be improved by including additional characteristics to alert patients to the need for behavioral and pharmaceutical adjustments during extreme weather events.

As expected, Dr. Gunawardena was in agreement. In his words, the study “highlights the empowering movement to monitor patients thoroughly in the home setting,” which might provide patients greater independence with the reassurance of clinical oversight and may foreshadow a future transformation in the treatment paradigm for other chronic illnesses.

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Dr. Roubille and colleagues write in their research that “acute episodes that are predicted to occur more regularly harm patients with chronic conditions, especially the more fragile populations,” highlighting the “direct impact of global warming on human health.”

It is our responsibility to get ready, the researchers concluded.

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