20% of hypertensive patients fail to comply with their treatment in summer

Woman measuring blood pressure with digital pressure monitor against blue background. Health care and medical concept
Photo: Quironsalud

Specialists from the Quirónsalud Torrevieja and Murcia Hospitals warn that non-compliance with cardiovascular treatments increases by 20% during the summer and can cause the patient to suffer heart and cerebrovascular problems, such as angina, infarction, heart failure and stroke. All this without forgetting the increased risk of kidney failure.

According to Dr. Rafael Florenciano, specialist of the Integral Cardiology Unit of Hospital Quirónsalud Torrevieja, “all precautions are few to enjoy a few days of rest without setbacks; thus, a poor diet with a high load of fats and salt, together with other factors, such as the abuse of tobacco, alcohol and the decrease in sports practice regularly cause a lack of control of blood pressure”.

In summer the blood pressure values are lower than in the winter months, which is because, with the heat, vasodilation occurs to favour the loss of body temperature, and as a consequence you have a low blood pressure.

If a hypertensive person is exposed to the sun too much in summer and does not hydrate properly, they can suffer a very serious hypotension that, in severe cases, causes loss of consciousness and fainting.  Within hypertensive people, older adults are especially sensitive to heat because the mechanism of sweating is normally impaired and in them it is very likely that heart and kidney problems will occur, so it is more difficult to get rid of excess heat in the body.  For this reason, Dr. Alfredo Vidal, specialist of the cardiology service of the  Hospital Quirónsalud Murcia, recommends, before the hot months, to go to your trusted doctor to adjust the antihypertensive treatment, as well as the diuretics.

As Dr. Florenciano adds, “not one of the drugs used to treat high blood pressure are diuretics, which, added to the high temperatures of the environment, causes the patient to lose more fluids, which is why it is vitally important that more fluids are taken than usual.” What is most advisable for this type of people at this time of year is to drink plenty of water, eat fresh fruit and wear light clothing to promote the replacement of liquids that are lost with sweat and thus avoid dehydration or, in more serious cases, heat stroke.

Keys so that summer does not become an enemy of your heart

Carry the medication on you.  Breaking the routine makes us forget to take our medication, since we always associate it with concrete actions such as breakfast, dinner, etc.

Caution with heat. The main causes of mortality during heat waves are related to cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and respiratory diseases. It is the reason why it is not convenient that we spend a lot of time exposed to the sun in the central hours of the day.

Be careful with alcohol. Experts advise maintaining a healthy and balanced diet in summer as the rest of the year. Excessive intake of alcoholic beverages can lead to heart rhythm disorders and a certain degree of contractile insufficiency.

Caution with the chosen holiday destination. Heart patients can choose the holiday destination they prefer taking into account only that it is preferable to avoid countries with extreme temperatures and places above 2,000 metres of altitude, because, if the heart is damaged, it will have to work more.

Rest, important in summer. The first objective of the holidays is to rest, but it is frequent that we end up doing the opposite, getting to sleep fewer hours, so that it is not beneficial for our cardiovascular health. Lack of sleep increases blood levels of stress hormones, which increases blood pressure and heart rate.

About Quirónsalud Torrevieja
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Partida de la Loma, s/n
03184 Torrevieja, Alicante
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