“Prolonged cold weakens out resistance to infection” is a statement that’s true whether or not you’re in a weakened state of health. For those that are, for instance, people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the effects of cold can be much more severe and potentially more likely to be permanently damaging. As is explained by Liesl Osmond, regarding a study conducted regarding temperature and sufferers of COPD, “This is the first time a direct relationship has been found between the number of hours a house is warm and respiratory health status – in this case that of patients with COPD, and it would seem that this relationship is most marked for smokers.” While it should come as no surprise that smoking will effect your respiratory health, it is interesting to note that the smokers that were part of the study who suffered from COPD had better respiratory health when exposed to warmer temperatures than those who lived in buildings with below-ideal temperatures.
The study, which was conducted in Scotland between October and May (colder months in Scotland) tracked how often living rooms and bedrooms remained at or above ideal temperatures for optimum respiratory health. The study concluded that “people who lived in homes in which the living room temperature was more typically at least twenty-one degrees Celsius for at least 9 hours per day had significantly better respiratory health (that is, fewer exacerbations of their underlying COPD or respiratory infections, than subjects who lived in homes where this temperature was maintained less often”. The study concluded that temperature was most important for smokers with COPD, who are even more likely to have improved respiratory health by heating their living areas more effectively and for longer periods of time.
One of the most important outcomes of this study is the fact that it revealed that temperature can have a direct effect on the health of people suffering with respiratory illness. This...
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