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  • HCM and climate

    I have a question for all the HCMers out there. I live just north of Boston and have previously lived in northeastern Maine. I have always considered myself a cold weather person until recently. I know that I'm getting older, but I wonder if there is any medical data that supports a particular climate for HCM?
    I would love to hear from folks all over to get opinions on this matter. Am I the only one who has this experience with climate?
    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Re: HCM and climate

    In our family, the folks have HCM seems to always become more symptomatic at the onset of winter (usually late November), and then feel better in the spring (we live in Michigan).

    I've been told that the body's response to cold weather is to increase (overa period of weeks) the viscosity of blood, and that the circulatory system contracts the diameter of peripheral blood vessals in response to cold temperatures. This increases the load on the heart. Conversely, in the spring, the blood ostensibly thins, and the blood vessels dilate, lessening the load.

    I don't know if anyone has ever done research on the symptoms and progression of HCM as a function of climate, but it would seem worthwhile to do so.

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    • #3
      Re: HCM and climate

      I know there probably isn’t much validity to it and it is simply coincidental, but I had no idea that I had HCM until shortly after moving to Arizona from Portland Oregon. I tend to feel worse during the summer here, but I can’t imagine that anyone feels too great in 115 degree weather! But it’s a dry heat!!!

      Nick

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      • #4
        Re: HCM and climate

        Because an HCM is less efficient than a regular heart, the body's heating/cooling system is also less efficient. Also, beta-blockers can make the hands and feet cold, too (other meds may do this as well, not sure).

        I find that I have little tolerance for anything outside of 72-76 degrees with a relatively high humidity. Of course, I live in Chicago so I get the worst of each extreme every year. Whenever possible, I just don't go outside when the weather doesn't agree with me.

        My darling boyfriend is hoping to one day be able to move me somewhere more temperate.

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        • #5
          Re: HCM and climate

          Well, Columbia SC has the reputation for being the front porch to ****. Each year I seem less able to tolerate the heat and humidity. My ability to do things improves in the cooler times of the year. I have always been hot natured but it seems that during my septal ablation they lowered my thermostat.
          Preston

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          • #6
            Re: HCM and climate

            Originally posted by pblead View Post
            Well, Columbia SC has the reputation for being the front porch to ****. Each year I seem less able to tolerate the heat and humidity. My ability to do things improves in the cooler times of the year. I have always been hot natured but it seems that during my septal ablation they lowered my thermostat.

            Being from Sumter, I can echo that statement! It seems many with HCM have a hard time in heat and humidity. Part of it comes with the dehydration issues of hot weather, part of it is the body's inefficient cooling system that seems to go with HCM. Humidity always seems to aggravate the matter.

            Reenie
            Reenie

            ****************
            Husband has HCM.
            3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.

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            • #7
              Re: HCM and climate

              Hi Thumpy,

              I have always considered myself to be a cold-climate person. I love the snow and winter sports, and I've always functioned much better in the cold than I have in the heat. But since being diagnosed and treated for HCM I've found I can tolerate the winter much less. My hands and feet especially get cold very fast, and if I'm outside for any length of time in the winter I get chilled to the bone. I hate not being able to enjoy winter now! I put full blame for my situation on beta-blockers though, since the change in temperature-sensitivity came very shortly after I started on them.

              Jim
              Last edited by mtlieb; 02-13-2007, 04:07 PM.
              "Some days you're the dog... some days you're the hydrant."

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              • #8
                Re: HCM and climate

                It's funny. Heat and humidity used to bother me more; now it's the cold that does me in. We are considering a move and I'm trying to get a sense of a good climate for me. My brother lives in Houston so I may visit him to see what that's like. He claims that a better climate encourages outdoor activity and I think he may be right.
                Thanks, everyone!

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                • #9
                  Re: HCM and climate

                  Good luck in Houston. I'm in Dallas, and I'm ready to move north. The heat here last summer was horrible (I pretty much stayed inside in the A/C from early July to September), and every time I've been to Houston its been 10x worse with their humidity.

                  I've always figured it would be better to be in cold climate where you can wear more clothes to offset the cold. In the heat, you have no options other than to either jump into a pool or just stay inside. Plus, if I'm outside, I'm probably active doing something, which generates more heat - helpful in the cold, bad when you're already too hot. Just my $0.02.

                  Jeff
                  husband, father of 3, dx in 10/05 at the age of 36, Mayo myectomy club member as of 2/24/06

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                  • #10
                    Re: HCM and climate

                    I am not sure what climate is best. I too used to love the cold although I realize that as fall would settle in each year my symptoms would worsen in a different way from the horrors of summer heat with humidity. I do much much better in spring and earlier temperate fall. I believe that HCM is very sensitive to vasodilation and vasoconstriction and we experience varying degrees of individual intolerance to extreme changes, so a moderate and NOT extreme climate would be best. Any ideas? My son is in Southern Australia presently and finds it very, very tolerable. He does not have HCM but says that even though it is very hot and summer there... the air is dry and very comfortable . He does not tolerate humidity with heat very well at all and complains when it is cold too. He says it is easy to walk in the heat there and not like the northern part where he was last week; it was very tropical there with highj humidity.

                    I am loving just imagining some dry, warm, heat basting my cold, painful body these days...oh well.. one can dream!

                    Pam
                    Dx @ 47 with HOCM & HF:11/00
                    Guidant ICD:Mar.01, Recalled/replaced:6/05 w/ Medtronic device
                    Lead failure,replaced 12/06.
                    SF lead recall:07,extracted leads and new device 2012
                    [email protected] Tufts, Boston:10/5/03; age 50. ( [email protected] 240 mmHg ++)
                    Paroxysmal A-Fib: 06-07,2010 controlled w/sotalol dosing
                    Genetic mutation 4/09, mother(d), brother, son, gene+
                    Mother of 3, grandma of 3:Tim,27,Sarah,33w/6 y/o old Sophia, 5 y/o Jack, Laura 34, w/ 5 y/o old Benjamin

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