A new research has found that patients with atrial fibrillation or abnormal heart beats are more prone to stroke risk due to cold weather.
Tze-Fan Chao's research states that atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia that increases the risk of ischaemic stroke by four to five times. Chao said that during AF, the electrical activity of the left atrium is disordered that results in stasis of blood in the atrium.
The blood pools can result in the formation of blood clots. These clots travel from the heart to the brain causing a stroke. Higher mortality rate of myocardial infarction, stroke and congestive heart failure have been reported in autumn/winter season.
A greater plasma fibrinogen level and factor VII clotting activity in the winter has been reported as a possible mechanism.
These coagulation factors may lead to a pro-coagulant status in cool climates, which may promote the formation of blood clots within the left atrium and increase the risk of stroke in AF patients.
However the risk of ischaemic stroke is higher in AF patients during cool seasons is still not clear.
According to a large-scale nationwide AF registry, the risk of ischaemic stroke in AF patients was higher during cool months and seasons. The study is presented at ESC Congress.