Major temperature fluctuations amid unseasonably hot or cold summers and winters are linked to heightened risks of cerebrovascular diseases, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health researchers said.
The study, published in the latest issue of the Taiwan Journal of Public Health, said that cerebrovascular accidents, or strokes, are not exclusively correlated to sudden drops in temperature, but to increases also, making unseasonably warm winters — such as the one Taiwan is currently experiencing — a period of elevated stroke risk.
The researchers analyzed the medical records of 10,000 cerebrovascular disease patients aged over 51 from the National Health Insurance Administration’s database, cross-referencing the data against which of seven zones the patients lived in from 2003 to 2010.
In many regions, high “relative extreme temperatures” — referring to regional daily temperature variances that were significantly higher than historically derived normal values — exacerbated stroke risk, lead researcher Kate Hsiao (蕭朱杏) said.
For example, in summers of high relative temperature extremes, the number of strokes reported in the Central, Kaohsiung-Pingtung, Yilan and Hualien-Taitung zones increased by 6, 17, 17 and 54 percent respectively, said Hsiao, who is an NTU public health professor.
In winters when relative extremes are high, incidences of strokes in the Kaohsiung-Pingtung, Yilan and Hualien-Taitung zones increased by 9, 9 and 43 percent respectively, she said.
“Some medical literature suggests that inadequate intake of water in high temperature conditions can increase blood viscosity; for elderly people, rapid temperature fluctuations may lead to heightened risks of cerebrovascular accidents, because their ability to adapt to temperature changes tends to be low,” she said.
That regions such as Kaohsiung-Pingtung and Hualien-Taitung have significantly higher temperature-related stroke risk than other zones is speculated to be the result of the lower socioeconomic status of people living there, with those people being less likely to have an adequate knowledge of preventive medicine, Hsiao said.
Taipei Medical University Hospital’s Kao Wei-fong (高偉峰) said that according to experience, both high and low temperature extremes lead to an influx of stroke victims.
Kao, who heads the hospital’s Department of Emergency and Critical Care, said temperatures more than 25°C and below 15°C are particularly troublesome.
Yi Gi-hou (尹居浩), an attending physician in the Neurology Division of Cheng Hsin General Hospital, said that hot temperatures strain the heart by accelerating the metabolism, and therefore temperature fluctuations during winter are likely to induce strokes in people with compromised vascular health.
LONG-TERM ALLIANCE: Using the company’s virtual development tools would help reduce cost and spur innovation at the research institute, an official said The Taiwan Semiconductor Research Institute (TSRI) has partnered with Synopsys Taiwan to accelerate the development of next-generation semiconductors, with researchers being allowed to use the chip design company’s simulation tools, the National Applied Research Laboratories said yesterday. The institute is one of eight laboratories of the national research agency. The institute has signed a contract with Synopsys that allows researchers to use its simulation software — Sentaurus TCAD and Quantum ATK — free of charge, the agency said in a news release. The Synopsys Web site describes Sentaurus TCAD as an advanced 1D, 2D and 3D process simulator for developing and optimizing chip
MONITORED BY JETS: Chinese aircraft included Y-20 aerial refueling aircraft, suggesting that China refueled its short-range jets during flight The air force scrambled again yesterday to warn away 27 Chinese aircraft that entered its air defense identification zone (ADIZ), the Ministry of National Defense said, the latest increase in tensions across the sensitive Taiwan Strait. Taiwan has complained for a year or more of repeated missions by China’s air force near the nation, often in the southwestern part of its ADIZ, close to the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands (Dongsha Islands, 東沙群島). Over a four-day period beginning on Oct. 1, when China marked its national day, Taiwan said that nearly 150 Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) military aircraft entered its ADIZ, not territorial
DESTABILIZING: Beijing’s efforts to choke Taiwan, pressure its friends and hamper its democracy are a threat to the world, AIT Director Sandra Oudkirk said China’s provocative military activities near Taiwan are destabilizing and risk “miscalculation,” American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Sandra Oudkirk said yesterday, reiterating the US’ objection to any unilateral changes to the “status quo” in the Taiwan Strait. Oudkirk made the remarks in a speech at the annual conference of the Association of International Relations in Taipei. “In the Indo-Pacific region, America’s effort to resolve and manage differences with the leadership of the People’s Republic of [PRC] faces distinct challenges,” she said, referencing a range of actions by China that she said run counter to the shared values and interests of the
EXTRADITION POSSIBLE? The suspect, who is quarantining upon arrival in Xiamen, is accused of killing a coffee trader on a street near his house in Sindian District The suspect in an execution-style murder of a businessman in New Taipei City’s Sindian District (新店) has fled to China and officials are negotiating his extradition, the New Taipei City Police Department said on Tuesday. The suspect, surnamed Huang (黃), took a flight from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 2pm on that day to Xiamen, where he is staying in a quarantine hotel, as required by Chinese COVID-19 regulations, the department said. Investigators accuse Huang of shooting dead a local coffee trader surnamed He (何) on a street near his residence when he was returning from dropping off his daughter at her