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Siberian Cold Enhances Stroke Occurrence
Feigin, V.L., Nikitin, Yu.P., Bots, M.L., Vinogradova, T.E. and Grobbee, D.E. 2000. A population-based study of the associations of stroke occurrence with weather parameters in Siberia, Russia (1982-92). European Journal of Neurology 7: 171-178.

What was done
The authors conducted "the first truly population-based study on the relationship between stroke occurrence and weather parameters in Russia" in the city of Novosibirsk, Siberia, which has one of the highest stroke incidence rates in the world. Their analyses were based on a total of 2208 patients with "a sex and age distribution similar to that of Russia as a whole" who had a certain date of first stroke over the period 1982-93.

What was learned
The authors found a statistically significant association between stroke occurrence and low ambient temperature. In terms of ischemic stroke (IS), which accounted for 87% of all stroke types, they report "the risk of IS occurrence on days with low ambient temperature is 32% higher than that on days with high ambient temperature."

What it means
"Given the highly significant association observed between low ambient temperature (< -2.0C) and IS occurrence (P = 0.02), together with the proportion of days with such temperature in the region during a calendar year (41.3%)," the authors state "it seems plausible that very high stroke incidence in Novosibirsk, Russia may partially be explained by the highly prevalent cold factor there." Hence, they suggest the implementation of "preventive measures in our region, such as avoiding low temperature."

Sounds like they could use a little of that horrible global warming!

Reviewed 25 October 2000