Background: Extreme temperatures have been associated with hospitalization and death among individuals with heart failure, but few studies have explored the underlying mechanisms.
Objectives: We hypothesized that outdoor temperature in the Boston, Massachusetts, area (1- to 4-day moving averages) would be associated with higher levels of biomarkers of inflammation and myocyte injury in a repeated-measures study of individuals with stable heart failure.
Methods: We analyzed data from a completed clinical trial that randomized 100 patients to 12 weeks of tai chi classes or to time-matched education control. B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP), C-reactive protein (CRP), and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) were measured at baseline, 6 weeks, and 12 weeks. Endothelin-1 was measured at baseline and 12 weeks. We used fixed effects models to evaluate associations with measures of temperature that were adjusted for time-varying covariates.
Results: Higher apparent temperature was associated with higher levels of BNP beginning with 2-day moving averages and reached statistical significance for 3- and 4-day moving averages. CRP results followed a similar pattern but were delayed by 1 day. A 5°C change in 3- and 4-day moving averages of apparent temperature was associated with 11.3% [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.1, 22.5; p = 0.03) and 11.4% (95% CI: 1.2, 22.5; p = 0.03) higher BNP. A 5°C change in the 4-day moving average of apparent temperature was associated with 21.6% (95% CI: 2.5, 44.2; p = 0.03) higher CRP. No clear associations with TNF or endothelin-1 were observed.
Conclusions: Among patients undergoing treatment for heart failure, we observed positive associations between temperature and both BNP and CRP-predictors of heart failure prognosis and severity.