Thu, Dec 13, 2018 - Page 2 News List

HPA urges elderly, at-risk individuals to remain warm

HOLIDAY WARNING:People attending Christmas or New Year’s celebration events should wear masks and stay warm, as it is the flu season, the HPA said

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

As the temperatures dropped across the nation yesterday, the Health Promotion Administration (HPA) urged elderly people and people with cardiovascular disease to keep warm to prevent a sudden increase in blood pressure, which might cause a heart attack or stroke.

A strong continental cold air mass brought the temperature in northern Taiwan to about 15°C and it is expected to linger until Saturday.

A sudden drop in temperature can pose health risks especially for people with high cardiovascular risk — those with diabetes, chronic hypertension, hyperlipidemia, kidney disease or obesity, as well as people who smoke and those who have had a stroke or angina pectoris.

Sudden exposure to cold temperatures might cause muscular walls in the blood vessels to contract (vasoconstriction), increasing the blood pressure and the risk of a heart attack or stroke, the HPA said.

In addition to keeping warm, people with chronic hypertension, hyperlipidemia and diabetes should monitor their blood pressure and take medication as prescribed by their doctors to regulate their conditions and reduce the risks posed by low temperatures, HPA Director-General Wang Ying-wei (王英偉) said.

If people with high cardiovascular risk suffer a heart attack or stroke, they should be taken to a hospital immediately so that they can be treated within the optimal window of time for higher chance of recovery, the agency said.

Warning signs of a heart attack include sudden chest tightness, chest and arm pain, difficulty breathing, nausea, extreme fatigue and dizziness, it said.

People with coronary artery disease should take an under-the-tongue (sublingual) nitroglycerin tablet prescribed by a doctor while awaiting emergency treatment, the HPA said.

The acronym FAST — “facial drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulties and time to call emergency services” — is an easy way to identify the most common symptoms of a stroke, it said, adding that the optimal time window is about within three hours from the onset of symptoms.

Many people are expected to participate in celebration events during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, the HPA said, but added that winter is the flu season, and urged people to wear a mask and keep warm when going to crowded places.

This story has been viewed 1799 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top