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Winter Weather Poses a Threat to Your Heart

admin - December 4, 2014

Winter weather and heart attack risk.

While you are most likely aware that heart attacks can occur while shoveling snow, this does not happen just from physical exertion – but also because of the weather.

Winter is the most common season for heart attacks. According to research, there are 53% more heart attacks in the winter than in summer months. January has twice as many heart attacks per day compared to July.

The same study found that for each 1.8 (Fahrenheit) degree temperature drop is linked to around 200 additional heart attacks.

Dangers of Winter Weather

Why does winter have such an increase in heart attacks? Colder temperatures can cause your blood pressure to rise, which also increases levels of proteins that can raise your risk of blood clots.

This is in addition to the fact that when the weather is cold, your heart must work harder to maintain your body heat. As your heart works harder, arteries tighten, which restricts blood flow and reduces the oxygen supply sent to your heart. With all of these factors combined, they could trigger a heart attack, especially for those who have heart disease.

Another factor may affect your risk for a heart attack that is more significant during the winter months, and has nothing to do with the outside temperature, but rather a lack of sunlight and Vitamin D.

Sunlight is scarce during the cold winter, making it harder for your body to maintain high enough vitamin D levels, especially without taking a supplement. Vitamin D functions in many different tissues in the body, and can help protect against heart disease.

Protect Yourself from Heart Disease with Preventive Screenings

The first step in preventive health is to know your personal risk for a particular disease or condition. Consulting with your primary care physician and participating in health screenings are recommended. Screenings for heart disease check for coronary artery disease, which is the leading cause of heart attacks.


5 Comments so far
  1. harold hufton - December 8, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    very good info !!

  2. Howard R Osofskyr - December 8, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Would like to schedule screenings.

  3. marianevans - December 8, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    excellent information

  4. mel minnicucci - December 8, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    when will you guys be in egg harbor township n j in the month of December…

  5. Roxanne Dance - December 9, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    when will lifeline screening be in the Wolcott, CT 06716 area in Jan.? I’ve had screenings in the past, but need to schedule screenings again.

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