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BACKGROUND: In many Western populations, blood pressure varies moderately with season and outdoor temperature. Relatively little is known about effects of seasonal changes in blood pressure on the detection and control of hypertension in general populations, especially in low- and middle-income countries. METHODS: We analysed cross-sectional data of 57 375 (42% men) participants aged 30-79 (mean 52.3) years who were enrolled during 2004-08, as part of the China Kadoorie Biobank, from a rural county in the south-east costal Zhejiang Province. Analyses related daily mean outdoor temperature, obtained from local Meteorological Bureau, to mean systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP), rate of newly detected hypertension and, among those with self-reported physician-diagnosed hypertension, rate of adequate blood pressure control, using multiple linear and logistic regression models. RESULTS: The overall mean blood pressure was 135.9 mmHg for SBP and 80.5 mmHg for DBP. Daily outdoor temperature ranged between -2.9 and 33.7°C, with July being the hottest month (mean 29.4°C) and January the coldest (mean 4.0°C). Comparing January (the coldest month) with July (the warmest), the differences in the adjusted SBP/DBP were 19.2/7.7 mmHg. Each 10°C lower ambient temperature was associated with 6.9/2.9 mmHg higher SBP/DBP,14.1% higher prevalence of newly detected hypertension and, among those with pre-diagnosed hypertension, 13.0% lower hypertension control rate. CONCLUSION: In rural China, lower outdoor temperature is strongly associated with higher mean blood pressure and hypertension prevalence as well as poorer hypertension control, and should be considered when conducting population-based hypertension surveys and providing treatment for hypertensive patients.

Original publication




Journal article


Int J Epidemiol

Publication Date





1835 - 1845


Blood pressure, China, hypertension control, hypertension detection, outdoor temperature, season, Adult, Aged, Antihypertensive Agents, Blood Pressure, China, Cross-Sectional Studies, Female, Humans, Hypertension, Male, Middle Aged, Prevalence, Rural Population, Seasons, Temperature, Treatment Outcome