Do wind turbines cause high blood pressure?

Nov 30, 2010

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Do you live within 5 km of wind turbines?

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If you do, this medical doctor thinks you should take early morning blood pressures.

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Sarah Laurie, MD
Medical Director
Waubra Foundation
Australia

November 28, 2010

Just in the last week, I have become aware that there appears to be a connection between turbines operating and some people experiencing raised early morning blood pressures. This is highly significant, as early morning raised blood pressures are a well known independent marker or risk factor for heart attacks.

What is being noted is that people’s blood pressures are “normal” when the turbines are off first thing in the morning (and have been off overnight), and are elevated when the turbines have been operating. Early morning blood pressures are best measured immediately upon waking, before any food or drink, particularly stimulants like tea or coffee.

I have been made aware of a number of heart attacks & strokes occurring in the population north of the Waubra wind development since the turbines started operating, and just this morning I have been advised of two heart attacks occurring in apparently previously healthy men who live adjacent to the Waterloo Wind Development in the Mid North Region of South Australia.

I do not want to be alarmist about this, as these could be coincidental, but nevertheless there could be a link with turbine operation.

The only way we are going to find out what is happening to blood pressures is to measure them. Ideally, we could collect good data if everyone who lives within 5km of a turbine or banks of turbines gets a blood pressure monitor and starts measuring their blood pressures every morning. If you are able to measure it at other times of the day that would be great, too.

It is important to make sure that the blood pressure monitor you have is accurate—the best way to check this is to take it to your physician and make sure that your monitor and the physician’s monitor are reading around the same blood pressures.

Blood pressures are affected by many things, and can go up and down over the day for a variety of reasons. I do not want people to be unduly alarmed by this, but please be aware that if you are experiencing chest tightness, chest pain, or new indigestion, that it could be associated with your heart and it would be important to seek urgent medical advice if this is occurring.

Please take your sheets of recorded blood pressures (BP) to your doctor to discuss with them, particularly if your BP is regularly over 140/80, or if your blood pressure first thing in the morning is among the highest readings of the day.

The more often you can do this, the better.

If anyone has any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me, either by email or by phone (08 8636 2051, 0439 865 914), malpasarah@westnet.com.au.

  1. Comment by Richard Gerdingh on 12/02/2010 at 9:23 pm

    My wife and I live in Kincardine, Ontario, a small town on the shores of Lake Huron. We built our retirement home here because we liked the peace and the view. Unfortunately, the heavily subsidised wind turbines began to pop up in the area, and since then they have edged closer and closer to our neighbourhood. The provincial government of Premier D. McGuinty (The Grinch) has enacted laws that removed the basic ability of municipal governments to decide on land use, all in favour of the foreingn companies that are erecting more and and bigger wind turbines.

    Even though the vast majority of people living in this area have opposed it, those turbines have come closer and closer. Our opposition has been to no avail. The closest one to my house, that’s being proposed, will be erected only 450 meters away and 150 m high.

    I realy don’t know if the wind turbines cause direct ilnesses, such as high blood preassure, but I know they have tremendous negative effects, such as the noise they produce that deprives people of their sleep and rest, plus the large adverse economic impact they cause on the value of nearby properties. And such negative efects DO cause stress, high blood pressure, headaches and other maladies.

    Wind turbine companies continue to claim that it has NOT been proven that the turbines cause health effects. This may (just may) be true for direct effects, but the indirect health effects caused by the wind turbines, such as those mentioned above, ARE VERY REAL.

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