Is winter more cruel to the elderly? Absolutely true!
Is winter really the Great Divide for middle-aged and elderly people? This is not a rumor, but a truth.
According to the research, the season does affect the mortality rate of the population, and the cold season has a greater impact on the mortality rate of middle-aged and elderly people, especially in December and February.
Why is it so cruel to middle-aged and elderly people in winter?
The reason may be: cold.
However, cold is not the main cause of death. Some basic diseases induced or aggravated by cold stimulation, such as cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, etc., are “behind the scenes.”
What are the high incidence diseases of the elderly in winter?
1. Cardiovascular disease
Hypertension, coronary heart disease (often manifested as angina pectoris, myocardial infarction), heart failure, etc.
A sudden drop in temperature will promote vasoconstriction, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, and increased myocardial oxygen consumption. Coupled with cold stimulation, it will aggravate heart vasospasm, coronary plaques are easily ruptured, and more likely to cause myocardial infarction and other cardiovascular diseases.
Cardiovascular disease, especially myocardial infarction, will have some typical symptoms, such as chest pain and nausea. Some people may only have chest tightness or chest pain, and difficulty breathing.
Generally, the pain range is the size of a palm, but some people may show discomfort in the entire chest, even shoulders, left arm, neck, teeth and other parts. In addition, there may be symptoms such as restlessness, profuse sweating, dizziness, and extreme fear.
- Quit smoking and drinking;
- 6~12 in the morning is the dangerous time for myocardial infarction. It is best not to go out for morning exercises in the morning in winter;
- Remember to wear more clothes and keep warm when the temperature drops;
- Patients with hypertension should take medication regularly. Stopping the medication without authorization will cause poor blood pressure control and even cause myocardial infarction;
- Ensure daily nutritional balance and try to avoid high-sugar, high-salt and high-oil foods;
- Rest more, avoid heavy physical work, and perform appropriate soothing exercises;
- Seek medical attention promptly and treat as directed by your doctor.
Note: In addition, winter is also a period of high incidence of aortic dissection, and hypertension is the main cause. This disease is an emergency. Once the chest, back or abdomen suddenly appears torn like severe pain, you should be sent to the emergency department of the hospital in time.
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2. Cerebrovascular disease
Cerebral infarction, including ischemic cerebral infarction and hemorrhagic cerebral infarction (hemorrhagic, commonly known as “cerebral hemorrhage”).
Hypertension is the most important risk factor for stroke.
After 55 years of age, the incidence rate rises significantly, and doubles every 10 years; while the temperature drop in winter may cause vasoconstriction, increased blood pressure, and insufficient blood supply to the brain, which may induce cerebral infarction.
In addition, atherosclerosis and atrial fibrillation are also “behind the scenes.”
When a cerebral infarction occurs, the typical symptoms are dizziness, unbalanced walking, and easy falling; headaches are severe or persistent; suddenly feel numbness on one side of the face or hands and feet, and some are numbness in the tongue, lip, or numbness in the upper and lower limbs; Sudden confusion, speech difficulties; sudden inability to see things, blurred vision, etc.
- Avoid severe cold and keep warm;
- Avoid mental tension and emotional excitement, and maintain an optimistic and happy mood;
- Patients with hypertension should monitor their blood pressure on time, keep their blood pressure stable, take the medication as prescribed by the doctor, and do not stop or reduce the dose without authorization.
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3. Venous thrombosis
Because of the cold, the elderly do not like to go out for sports, but sit at home for a long time and watch TV or stay in bed for a long time. These will cause the blood return of the lower limbs to be blocked, leading to blood stasis; in addition, the elderly have reduced muscle tone and blood vessel degeneration. Changes and slowing of blood circulation in cold weather can easily induce venous thrombosis in the lower extremities.
When venous thrombosis of the lower extremities occurs, the affected legs will usually be swollen and painful, and the skin will be bruised and purple. In severe cases, chronic ulcers of the lower extremities may occur. If not treated in time, the thrombosis may fall off and cause serious complications-pulmonary embolism.
- Do not sit for a long time, and do soothing indoor or outdoor exercises appropriately;
- Outdoor sports should not be carried out prematurely; pay attention to perspiration in time to keep warm after exercise.
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4. Respiratory diseases
Asthma, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, flu, pneumonia, etc.
In winter, some areas often have haze and dust, which can easily induce respiratory allergic diseases;
In addition, in the winter, the temperature is low and the air is dry, bacteria and viruses especially like this environment, and respiratory infectious diseases are more likely to spread.
Studies have also shown that a low-temperature and dry environment can increase mortality from influenza and pneumonia.
It is worth noting that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is mainly caused by smoking, manifested as chronic bronchitis and emphysema, and its damage to the lungs is irreversible.
Different respiratory diseases have different symptoms, but there are also similarities, such as: recurrent wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, cough, sputum and other symptoms.
- Although it is cold, open windows regularly for ventilation to keep indoor air circulating;
- Do not smoke, avoid second-hand smoke and kitchen fumes;
- In dry and air-polluted places, air purifiers and humidifiers can be used;
- People at high risk of allergies or asthma should avoid allergens;
- Keep warm and avoid bronchial asthma caused by cold;
- Patients with asthma should insist on medication and review regularly.
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