Mortality by degrees

Published: Wednesday 15 March 1995

Temperature changes affect the susceptibility of the aged to death from coronary artery disease, brain infarctioh (blood clot) and cerebra4 haemorrhage, suggests a I I -year study by Thai @cientists (Lancet Vol 345, No 8946).

Researchers led by WenHarn Pan ofthe Institute of Biomedical Sciences of Academia Sinica, Taipei, found that the mortality rate among those over 64 years was the lowest at 26-29' C for coronary artery disease. Deaths from cerebral infarction were the lowest at 27-29' c. Above and below these temperatures, the mortality rates among the elderly showed an increase.

Pan argues that the "human body's ability to adapt itselfto heat and cold stresses in old age, aggravates existing cardiovascular diseases and triggers events".

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