According to the Central Weather Bureau, due to the effects of continental cold air mass, temperatures across Taiwan will be colder this weekend, with lows in Northern Taiwan to dip down to 10 degrees Celsius. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) reminds people to pay attention to the health hazards caused by low temperature, especially those with high risks of cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, stroke or angina pectoris, etc. Against the colder temperatures, ensure that you wear warm clothing to avoid contraction of blood vessels, as blood pressure will increase when temperatures shift quickly, which would increase the risks of heart attacks and acute strokes.
To alleviate the effects of cold weather and the sharp temperature differences between day and night, HPA reminds that the elderly population, people with cardiovascular disease, and those with the so-called three "highs" — high blood pressure, lipids and sugar— to take their medication regularly, make follow-up visits back to clinics, and maintain a healthy diet. Also, people are advised to regularly measure and record their blood pressure levels as well.
Cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes could be fatal, but seeking medical assistance early could lower the risks of death and disability. If someone shows any of these symptoms, please call 119 or emergency medical services immediately.
I. Heart disease symptoms: Cardiovascular disease symptoms may be different for men and women. For instance, men are more likely to have chest pain, difficulty breathing and dizziness; women are more likely to have other symptoms along with chest discomfort, such as nausea, hand numbness, backaches and difficulty breathing.
II. During a stroke, every minute counts! Fast treatment can lessen the brain damage caused by stroke. Use the FAST test to check for the most common symptoms of a stroke in yourself or someone else.
Face: Smile and see if one side of the face droops.
Arms: Raise both arms. Does one arm drop down?
Speech: Say a short phrase and check for slurred or strange speech.
Time: If the answer to any of these is yes, call 119 right away and write down the time when symptoms started.