People Are More Prone to Heart Attacks During Winter


cold weather heart attackThe plummeting mercury raises the risk of getting a heart-attack and it is the time when one needs to remain extra cautious.

As viscosity of blood increases with the drop in temperature, the number of cases of heartattacks and other coronary artery diseases increase during winters. The limited awareness about the triggers that lead to heart attack and precautions which can be taken to avoid it during winters is a major cause of worry. 

Dr Vanita Arora, Associate Director and Head,Cardiac Electrophysiology Lab and Arrhythmia Services, Max Hospital, discusses vulnerability of the heart in order to empower people suffering from cardio-vascular diseases with the right kind of prevention, more so during the winter season. “People become more prone to heart attacks in winters. The arteries that arise from the aorta become constricted with the fall in temperatures, as a result of which the heart has to put more effort to pump the blood. This makes the heart stress out and it leads to a heart attack. It is more risky for those who do not have any inkling about pre-existing heart conditions,” says Dr Arora.


-Intake of too much alcohol can lead to atrial fibrillation, a common form of Arrhythmia
-Avoid binge eating and focus on eating small quantities at regular intervals

What to do:
It is important, she says, to keep a constant check on cardiovascular risk factors, and make sure that the winter season brings no harm to your health.

Cholesterol levels fluctuate significantly with the change in the season, which may leave people with borderline high cholesterol with greater cardiovascular risk during the winter months. Apart from managing cholesterol levels, it is crucial that we keep small things in mind and do not stress the heart.

Do not indulge in overdoing anything and exhausting yourself. Give yourself a break and take frequent rest breaks so that you do not overstress your heart; even if that means alteration in your otherwise intense workout regime.

Avoid going for a walk in the morning in extreme chilly days and you can shift your walks in the evening when it is still sunny.

People also end up eating more than the normal quantity in winter, but eating a large meal at one go can put an extra load on your heart. Avoid! It is rather preferable to eat small quantities at regular intervals.

Do not over indulge in alcohol, thinking that it will only help you in keeping warm and cozy. Too much of alcohol intake can cause atrial fibrillation, a common irregular heartbeat problem called Arrhythmia that is suffered by millions of people.

On consultation of the doctor, one can also keep pills with them and can consume it on confronting breathlessness or chest pain.

Heart failure leads to most deaths in hypothermia. To keep hypothermia at bay, it is advisable to cover yourself with layers of warm clothes. Besides this, it is advisable to take a bath with warm water only.

Also, never ignore any discomfort in chest; severe sweating; pain in neck arms, jaws and shoulders; or shortness of breath. All this might give you a warning signal. Visit a doctor if you come across any of these symptoms.

Regular check-ups are always advisable. It will help you pre-empt any big health trouble. It is rightly said that ‘prevention is better than cure’!

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Source: indiatimes