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Chicago Expects Cold Temperatures over Thanksgiving; Stroke Risk Rises

Posted on November 24, 2010

Based upon weather forecasts, it appears that Thanksgiving Day will be filled with Chicagoans pushing through cold temperatures during their traditional neighborhood football games and Turkey Trots.  Dr. Demetrius Lopes, endovascular –trained neurosurgeon at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago wants to wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.  It’s a great celebration that this Brazilian-born neurosurgeon embraces with his wife and children.  

He also wants those at risk for stroke, including those with known vascular and heart conditions, diabetics, and patients with high blood pressure, to know that the cold weather can actually increase their risk.

“When temperatures dip the body’s natural reaction is to increase the rate at which the heart is pumping.  This means that more blood is pumping through the arteries in the brain and the heart.  In most people, this doesn’t cause any problems.  In patients with narrowed arteries, however, the increase in pressure can be lethal” explains Dr. Lopes.

“I generally advise my patients who are at risk for stroke, those who have experienced transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), and those with intracranial atherosclerosis disease (ICAD) to tone down their intense exercise routines and to limit stress as much as possible during the cold weather.  Most importantly these patients should be under the care of a physician.”

If you have any questions for Dr. Lopes and your risk of stroke, please respond in the space below or email him at info@ChicagoStrokeMD.com.