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Cooling and Cold Temperatures Heighten Risk of Ischemic Stroke in Korea
Hong, Y-C., Rha, J-H., Lee, J-T., Ha, E-H., Kwon, H-J. and Kim, H.  2003.  Ischemic stroke associated with decrease in temperature.  Epidemiology 14: 473-478.

What was done
The authors investigated the association between the onset of ischemic stroke and prior episodic decreases in temperature in 545 patients who suffered strokes in Incheon, Korea, over the period January 1998 to December 2000.

What was learned
Hong et al. report that "decreased ambient temperature was associated with risk of acute ischemic stroke," with the strongest effect being seen on the day after exposure to cold weather, further noting that "even a moderate decrease in temperature can increase the risk of ischemic stroke."  In addition, they note that "risk estimates associated with decreased temperature were greater in winter than in the summer," which suggests, in their words, that "low temperatures as well as temperature changes are associated with the onset of ischemic stroke."

The scientists suggest that the reason for the 24 to 48 hour lag between exposure to cold and the onset of stroke "might be that it takes some time for the decreasing temperature to affect blood viscosity or coagulation," which is also suggested by the work of Keatinge et al. (1984), who found that blood viscosity and the plasma fraction of platelets began to increase one hour after cold exposure and did not reach a peak until sometime beyond six hours after exposure.

What it means
Once again [see the many sub-headings under Health Effects (Temperature) in our Subject Index], cooling and cold temperatures are seen to produce a life-threatening malady in people that could be considerably reduced with a good dose of global warming, especially in cold climates, during the cold season of the year, and at the coldest time of the day, which is precisely when and where most real-world warming typically occurs.  Clearly, global warming is good for our health, which is exactly the opposite of what climate alarmists continually preach to the populace of the planet.

Keatinge, W.R., Coleshaw, S.R., Cotter, F., Mattock, M., Murphy, M. and Chelliah, R.  1984.  Increases in platelet and red cell counts, blood viscosity, and arterial pressure during mild surface cooling: factors in mortality from coronary and cerebral thrombosis in winter.  British Medical Journal (Clinical Research Education) 289: 1405-1408.

Reviewed 15 October 2003