Each winter hospitals see an increase in the number of patients with heart attack symptoms as compared to the rest of the year. Starting in November and lasting until April, the number of patients with heart problems can be overwhelming for hospital emergency rooms. Research shows there is a 50 percent increase in heart attacks during the winter months as compared to summer, and there are on average twice as many heart attacks per day in January compared to July. A major reason for such an increase is how the colder weather can affect the heart. For example, exposure to cold temperatures causes blood vessels to constrict and can reduce blood flow and oxygen supply to your heart. Cold temperatures can also cause a rise in blood pressure and put undue stress on the vascular system, which can in turn lead to chest pain and ultimately more serious cardiovascular conditions.
As we begin this fall season it’s a perfect time to start that new heart healthy diet, exercise plan and/or schedule that annual check-up you may have been putting off. Start slow though, the cardiovascular system can much more easily adapt to slow and progressive changes as compared to sudden and abrupt changes.
Many of us already proactively complete our checklist each fall season which consists of other important items such as winterizing our vehicles, stocking up on extra groceries, and prepping for snow removal, so why not do the same and make heart health during the winter a priority as well?
Stay safe & be well