- The biggest risk factor is biological: the cold causes blood vessels to constrict, raising blood pressure and increasing the chance of winter heart attacks or strokes. Angina, or chest pain caused by coronary heart disease, can intensify in the winter as coronary arteries contract in the cold.
- Furthermore, your heart needs to work extra hard to keep your body temperature stable, and winter wind can make this even more difficult because it causes the body to lose heat faster. Hypothermia can cause cardiac muscle damage if your body falls below 95 degrees.
- Changes in your lifestyle, particularly physical exercise, can also have an impact on your risk. People are frequently forced to engage in more strenuous physical exercise than they are accustomed to, such as shovelling or walking through deep snow.
- The anxiety of the holiday season has also been shown to raise stress hormone levels and, as a result, the risk of winter heart attack or stroke. Self-care during the holidays might help you manage your stress and reduce your risk.
A heart attack can cause a number of indications and symptoms, which differ between men and women.
- It most commonly manifests in men as a pain in the chest that spreads down to the left arm. It may feel like a muscle strain and may persist for many minutes, varying in intensity.
- Severe fatigue, difficulty breathing, disorientation, perspiration, jaw pain, nausea, abdomen or back pain, and flu-like symptoms are common in females.
- However, there may be situations when a sign or symptom does not appear. It is also known as a quiet heart attack or silent ischemia in this scenario.
If you see any of the aforementioned signs or symptoms, contact your doctor right away.
Prevention methods for winter heart attacks
- Dress appropriately for the weather. Wear layers, especially hats, gloves, and thick socks.
- Come inside frequently. If you’re going to be outside in the cold, take pauses to warm up.
- Avoid consuming too much alcohol. Alcohol can make you feel warmer than you are, making it especially risky while you’re outside in the cold.
- Do not shovel for long periods of time. You should also consult your doctor about whether it is safe for you to shovel at all.
- Hands should be washed often. Respiratory infections can raise the chance of having a heart attack.
- Seek assistance. If you are experiencing new symptoms of a cardiac problem, seek medical attention immediately, even if it is a holiday.