Researchers from the Wrocław University of Science and Technology, in collaboration with neurosurgeons, are investigating whether it is possible to use the weather data to predict the risk of strokes and heart attacks. There is a widespread belief among doctors caring for patients with vascular disease that they will have more work to do with stroke or heart attack patients within days of a weather collapse or the passage of a weather front.
“In the literature we can find articles summarising the first studies of this correlation. For the time being, however, it is poorly proven, because the analyses were usually conducted by a single American research centre and on a small group of patients. We, however, have already started analyses on a very large scale. Thanks to cooperation with the National Health Fund, we have gained access to a database of so-called ‘vascular incidents’ over a two-year period”, says neurosurgeon from the Provincial Specialist Hospital in Legnica, Dr Artur Kwiatkowski.
Mathematicians and specialists in machine learning and numerical modelling from the Wrocław University of Science and Technology are looking for links between weather conditions and the number of patients presenting at hospitals. They have information available for every hospital in Poland. For now, they are analysing correlations between the data for Lower Silesia.
“We can already confirm that there is a correlation between factors such as pressure drops or precipitation and several other phenomena and the occurrence of these specific diseases, but it is still too early to talk about strict correlations,” assesses Dr Eng. Agnieszka Wyłomańska from the Faculty of Mathematics.
The researchers will expand the scope of their analyses and will also discuss with doctors which weather factors can have a significant impact on the human body and which do not play a major role. In addition to pressure, large differences in temperature over the course of a day, or high humidity combined with high temperatures can also be important.