Cold weather warning in place: Dr warns of 'serious consequences for health'
Share this

From 6pm on Sunday, February 5, the UKHSA have forecasted low temperatures and overnight fog across England. The cold spell will continue till Tuesday, February 7, with Dr Agostinho Sousa concerned about vulnerable people. “Cold weather can have serious consequences for health, with older people and those with heart or lung conditions particularly at risk,” he said.

The consultant in public health medicine at UKHSA added: “It’s important to check in on family, friends and relatives who are more vulnerable to the cold weather.

“If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over the age of 65, it is important to try and heat your home to at least 18°C if you can.”

Heart conditions and the cold

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) says: “Researchers have shown that the effects on health of a cold day or cold spell can be seen for two weeks or more afterwards.”

The charity explains: “When we are cold, our nervous system springs into action to stop our core body temperature dropping and to keep our vital organs working.”

READ MORE: Dr Mosley shares the type of wine that can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes by 14%

The blood vessels narrow in response to the cold in an attempt to conserve heat.

However, the vasoconstriction (as it’s called) creates more pressure in the circulatory system.

Consequently, the heart muscle has to work harder to pump blood around the body, which increases the heart rate and blood pressure.

“People with angina may experience a worsening in their symptoms during the winter months, or find that they are less able to be physically active when it’s cold,” the BHF adds.


“At the same time, the blood itself can become thicker and stickier and more likely to form clots – which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.”

The BHF says research suggests that people who drink more than one alcoholic drink per week were at higher risk of dying of heart disease during a cold snap.

Lung conditions and the cold

NHS England revealed the people most at risk of adverse health outcomes during cold weather.

This included people with respiratory diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or severe asthma.

READ MORE: Don’t let anxiety take control of your life with Paul McKenna’s techniques

The British Lung Foundation (BLF) says people living with a lung condition should “have a plan with your healthcare professional” on what to do in cold weather instances.

“This should include what to do and who to contact if your symptoms flare up,” the charity says, adding that if you don’t have a plan, talk to your healthcare professional to make one.

In partnership with Age UK, the UKHSA have shared “top tips for keeping warm and well this winter”.

Top tips

As “exposure to low indoor temperatures can have a serious impact on your health as you get older”, it’s advised to keep the bedroom window closed at night.

In addition, those over the age of 50 are better off treating minor winter ailments, such as a sore throat, as soon as possible by visiting their local pharmacist – “don’t delay”.

“When you’re indoors, try not to sit still for more than an hour or so,” the partnership notes.

“If you find it difficult to move about, stretching your arms and legs can also help keep you warm.”

When venturing outside, people are advised to “wear shoes with good grip” to “avoid falls on slippery or icy surfaces”.

Share this
You May Also Like

Undercooked meat may be to blame for one in 14 UTIs, scientists say

Undercooked meat may be responsible for hundreds of thousands of urinary tract…

This Purple Day Let’s Understand Epilepsy With Dr Pooja Kohli

Every year, an estimated 5 million people worldwide are diagnosed with epilepsy.…

Colon cancer: Symptoms may include iron deficiency and rectal bleeding

Evidence, however, suggests the disease is occurring in younger people today due…

Reason Britons put off making changes to boost health revealed

As millions of Brits strive for longer, healthier lives, a new survey…

7 Best Canned Goods To Buy at Costco, According to a Chef

The product recommendations in this post are recommendations by the writer and/or…

5 Restaurant Chains Replacing People With Robots

We’re only a few months into 2023, and it already feels like…

I’m an expert – this is why you shouldn’t sit with your legs crossed

It is the way many people prefer to sit down in a…

Scientists ‘surprised’ at ‘robust’ evidence that noisy traffic could lead to hypertension

Dr Jing Huang and his team have shown the strongest evidence to…

Blood clots in the sinuses may cause eyes to swell and droop

Blood clots are usually a bodily response to injury, but often, their…

World Tuberculosis Day: Role Of Vaccination In TB Prevention And Control

TB New Vaccine How Does TB Vaccine Work? Know The Role Of…

11 Burger Chains with the Highest Quality Meat in America

Much like steakhouses or seafood restaurants, burger chains live and die by…

The #1 Bodyweight Workout To Shrink Hanging Belly Fat

If you’ve tried to get rid of hanging belly fat, you know…