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Climate Change, Body Weight and Heart Failure: Study Finds Some Connection

Climate Change, Body Weight and Heart Failure: Study Finds Some Connection
If you consume diuretics, it might be a good idea to consult your clinician on right quantity of fluid intake that won’t facilitate fluid retention and inflammation

The study looked at the effects of heat waves that affected Europe in 2019. It found a strong association between temperature and body weight, with body weight dropping as the temperature rose

Written by Kashish Sharma |Published : September 30, 2022 1:46 PM IST

Heat waves have been marking many parts of the world, particularly those places where they rarely affected individuals earlier. These waves have been affecting human health more frequently due to climate change. While many of us could only think of heat stroke or skin problems as the average temperature rises around the globe, we find it hard to find a connection between heat, body weight and cardiac health. A new study has shown that the three share a unique connection. Hence, climate change has emerged as a direct threat to our cardiac health.

A nationwide study conducted on 1,420 people (suffering from chronic cardiac failure) in France, has shown that increased temperatures during 2019 heat wave was closely associated with weight loss. Changes in body weight have been associated with one's cardiac health.

Increasing body weight and troubled heart

As per reports, a heart that is not functioning well will lead to poor blood flow in the body and this might result in accumulation of waste products, fluid retention, systemic inflammation and sometimes irregular heartbeat. Such individuals might see their body weight increasing as their cardiac condition worsens. People suffering from chronic cardiac failure are often given diuretics that help the body release this excess water from the body and reduce swelling.

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Body heat changes and heart health

The study looked at the effects of heat waves that affected Europe in 2019. It found a strong association between temperature and body weight, with body weight dropping as the temperature rose. While healthy people under these circumstances would drink more water and their body would effectively regulate the bodily fluids, people who are suffering from chronic heart failure and are on diuretics would find the sudden transition of temperature difficult to cope with. During high temperatures, the thermoregulatory mechanisms of the body will cause increased blood flow to the skin to facilitate the loss of excess water. When the thermoregulatory system gets exhausted, the core temperature of the body will increase. This might also require people taking diuretics to alter their doses accordingly. Also, the increased temperature of the surrounding and body will force the heart to work harder, putting more pressure on the cardiac machinery and blood vessels.

Protect your heart when temperature rises

Climate change has become inevitable now and the faster we realize the grave side effects associated with it, the better we might be able to adapt to the new normal. Here are few things you can do to protect yourself against extreme heat-

  1. Frequent cool showers can help lower body temperature
  2. Take down a glass of water every hour
  3. Stick with smaller meals, easy to digest and don't overload your stomach
  4. Keep an eye on weather forecasts and try staying inside as much as possible
  5. Some studies have shown that soda and fruit juices can slow down the passage of water from the digestive system to the blood stream
  6. If you consume diuretics, it might be a good idea to consult your clinician on right quantity of fluid intake that won't facilitate fluid retention and inflammation.