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Is Winter a Heart Attack Season?

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Is Winter a Heart Attack Season?

Cardiology | by Dr. Sabyasachi Pal | Published on 13/12/2022

Did you know that winter is a heart attack season? Yes, you heard that right. Winters are around the corner and it becomes important for us to be mindful of what we eat and drink. It is more important to maintain good heart health by getting involved in some sort of regular physical activity. Undoubtedly, it becomes a little difficult to come out of your comfy and warm blanket, but no reason would work if you want to prevent a heart attack in winter.

Certainly, we all wait for cold weather the whole year but it is crucial to understand that there are very high chances of an increase in blood pressure and heart attack. It becomes intricate for a heart to pump blood and the heart may have to put extra effort into pumping blood. The temperature change can be more challenging for individuals who have heart-related diseases already.

In this write-up, you will find a comprehensive discussion on the ways and how winters affect your heart. So, make sure to stay till the end.

How does winter affect your heart health?

Cold weather can affect your heart health adversely making it challenging and work tougher to keep your body warm. There might be a requirement to set in hypothermia if body temperatures drop below 95 degrees. It causes severe harm to the heart muscle. The narrowing down of blood vessels makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood across the body. It also causes thick blood, high blood pressure, and a fast heart rate.

It is also found in the studies that the human body begins to experience an increase in white blood cells during the winter season. This leads to reducing the transportation of oxygen across the body. Hence, it also causes a high risk of heart attack or stroke.

Can winter flu affect your heart?

Yes, winter or seasonal flu can trigger a heart attack risk, particularly for those who are at high risk of cardiovascular diseases. Fever in winter causes certain issues such as it requires your heart to beat fast which also enhances the oxygen demand. The seasonal flu can also cause the problem of dehydration which continues to reduce blood pressure. If the heart doesn’t receive the right amount of blood supply rich in oxygen, it causes a great heart attack risk in winter. If you already have a heart-related health condition, it is advised for you to get in touch with your doctor.

Signs of a heart attack in winter you shouldn’t ignore

It is important to identify the signs of a heart attack in winter so that you can take precautionary measures beforehand. When you feel unbearable pain in the neck, shoulder, and hand, you should not ignore them as these are the primary signs of a heart attack in winter. However, the symptoms might differ for both men and women. Men might experience symptoms like light-headedness, and nausea whereas women experience signs like unexplained fatigue and dizziness.

Who is at high risk of developing a heart attack during winter?

It becomes difficult for elderly people and young children to become adaptable to temperature. This is why they are at a greater risk of experiencing heart attacks during winter. Hence, adults need to keep a check on both elder individuals and children by making sure that they are at ease and warm. If you observe any sign or symptom among them, make sure to call your doctor or take them to the hospital at the earliest.

Risks factors for heart attack in cold weather

Exposure to cold weather increases the risk of a heart attack hence it is recommended to not get involved in excessive exercise during cold weather. It also includes shoveling snow and going for a walk.

Certain risk factors are there that enhance heart attacks and disease includes:

  • People with high blood pressure and cholesterol are at a higher risk of a heart attack in cold weather.
  • There are habits like smoking and alcohol consumption that puts an individual at risk of experiencing a heart attack in winter.
  • Factors like age and family history also cause the risk of heart attack or stroke during cold weather.
  • Other health conditions which cause a heart attack in winter are diabetes, obesity, etc.
  • Eating habits are also the risk factor for heart attacks such as trans fats and saturated fats.

Among all these factors, it is found that people who are into regular smoking and alcohol consumption might experience heart attack symptoms in cold weather and are at greater risk. It is because of the direct influence on vasoconstriction and augmented blood pressure.

How to avoid a heart attack in cold weather?

Certain steps are there to mitigate the risk of experiencing a heart attack during cold weather. One can easily minimize the low weather effects on the heart. The finest method to save your heart from cold is restricting your exposure to cold weather by reducing your presence duration.

Here are some tips to prevent heart attack in cold weather:

  • Make sure that you always wear warm and a good number of layers of clothing so that your body temperature is maintained.
  • It is important to save yourself from the wind and avert staying out of damp areas.
  • You must refrain from or limit the consumption of alcohol while you are in cold weather situations as it causes a false feeling of warmth.
  • Consider taking breaks from your daily schedule of exercise and limit overworking for the body.
  • Try staying indoors to keep yourself warm rather than going out and staying outdoors.

There are other ways as well such as eating hot meals and a hot drink as it keeps you warm. If you love to exercise, then you can follow some indoor exercise routine as it will also help in preventing heart attack disease from growing.

Final words

Heart attacks these days are rising at an increased speed, especially during the winter season. If you don’t know the ways that can help you in preventing a heart attack in winter, make sure they are involved in your daily life. You must ensure maintaining a healthy lifestyle and eating habits during winter. Ensure eating healthy, sleeping on time, and exercising enough so that your heart is healthy. If you observe any heart attack symptoms, make sure to speak to your heart attack specialist in Kolkata at the earliest.



What happens to the heart in winter?

The cold weather causes the problem of narrowing of blood vessels and blockage in the heart. This further raises the problem of blood pressure augmenting heart attack risk. Chest pain also gets worse during winter as the coronary artery shrinks in winter.

Which season are heart attacks common?

According to research findings, it is found that angina and other heart-related conditions such as heart attacks are common in two seasons i.e. winter and summer.

Is chest pain normal in winter?

In winter, it becomes difficult to flow smoothly throughout the body and as a result, an individual can experience chest pain also known as angina pectoris. The discomfort in the chest lasts for a few minutes and feels like squeezing pressure.

What temperature should heart patients avoid?

It is recommended that heart patients must avoid temperatures below 95 degrees. It is called hypothermia and can cause harm to the heart muscle which means a risk of a heart attack as well.