Relationship between outdoor temperature and cardiovascular disease risk factors in older people

Claudio Sartini*, Sarah J E Barry, Peter H. Whincup, S. Goya Wannamethee, Gordon D O Lowe, Barbara J. Jefferis, Lucy Lennon, Paul Welsh, Ian Ford, Naveed Sattar, Richard W. Morris

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
347 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Previous studies demonstrated that lower outdoor temperatures increase the levels of established Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) risk factors, such as blood pressure and lipids. Whether or not low temperatures increase novel CVD risk factors levels is not well studied. The aim was to investigate associations of outdoor temperature with a comprehensive range of established and novel CVD risk factors in two large Northern European studies of older adults, in whom CVD risk is increased.

Design and Methods: Data came from the British Regional Heart Study (4252 men aged 60-79 years) and the PROspective Study of Pravastatin in the Elderly at Risk (5804 men and women aged 70-82 years). Associations between outdoor temperature and CVD risk factors were quantified in each study and then pooled using a random effects model.

Results: With a 5°C lower mean temperature, total cholesterol was 0.04 mmol/L (95% confidence Intervals (CI) 0.02; 0.07) higher, LDL cholesterol was 0.02 mmol/L (95%CI 0.01; 0.05) higher and SBP was 1.12 mm Hg (95%CI 0.60,1.64) higher. Among novel CVD risk factors, C-reactive protein was 3.3% (95%CI 1.0; 5.6%) higher, Interleukin-6 was 2.7% (95%CI 1.1; 4.3%) higher, and Vitamin D was 11.2% (95%CI 1.0; 20.4%) lower.

Conclusions: Lower outdoor temperature was associated with adverse effects on cholesterol, blood pressure, circulating inflammatory markers, and Vitamin D in two older populations. Public health approaches to protect the elderly against low temperatures could help in reducing the levels of several CVD risk factors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-356
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Preventive Cardiology
Issue number4
Early online date5 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


  • Biomarkers
  • outdoor temperature
  • older adults
  • cardiovascular disease risk factors


Dive into the research topics of 'Relationship between outdoor temperature and cardiovascular disease risk factors in older people'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this