High blood pressure in winter can lead to brain stroke: Neurologist

Amid reports of rising cases of brain stroke and brain haemorrhage in the ongoing bitter cold in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur, a senior neurologist at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said high blood pressure is common during winters and can, at times, lead to a brain stroke. Speaking to ANI, Dr CS Agarwal said, “The risk of brain stroke is higher in patients with high blood pressure and those travelling to the mountains at this time of the year are also at risk due to depleting oxygen levels in higher altitudes.”

“If we go to the mountains where the air is rarefied, there is a risk of a brain stroke. Caught up indoors when the sun doesn`t come up for days can also add to the stress and put us at risk of a brain stroke incident. Hence, there is a need to take additional cautionary steps in places where the temperatures are extremely low,” he said.

The senior Neurologist told ANI that the risk of a brain stroke and brain haemorrhage is even higher for those who have high blood pressure, adding that it was necessary to keep blood pressure under control in severe cold weather and hold timely consultations with doctors.”Blood pressure often increases in cold weather. Along with this, due to lack of sweating in winter, the amount of sodium in the body increases, raising blood pressure levels,” he added. Several brain stroke patients were recently admitted to hospitals in Kanpur, of which a 14-year-old child succumbed. Doctors said the 14-year-old died due to exposure to extreme cold.

Dr Agarwal said, “During winter, we do get complaints of increased blood pressure. Increase in blood pressure raises the risk of brain strokes.”The doctor said diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, metabolic syndrome, sedentary lifestyle, lack of oxygen, as well as excessive smoking also raise the risk of a brain stroke. He said people are often afraid of taking blood pressure medicines and even stop the medicines without taking a doctor`s advice. He said in winter, it is advisable to take Vitamin D tablets and not go on morning walks, adding people should bundle up when outdoors.

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