HomeLIFESTYLEHeart attack risk is higher in winter. Find out why.

Heart attack risk is higher in winter. Find out why.

In winter, when temperatures are lower, there is an increase in the incidence of heart attacks. Why does this happen? It’s about the reasons that explain why the risk of heart attack is higher in the cold that we’re going to talk.

Before we get to them, we talk about two studies that show that this statement is scientifically proven.

An American study analyzed, over three years, about 600,000 hospitalizations for heart failure and concluded that the probability of people dying or spending more time in the hospital increased significantly in the coldest season of the year.

Another work, in this case in Sweden, reached the same conclusion. Over 16 years and analyzing more than 280,000 patients, scientists from the University of Lund found that there is indeed a relationship between low temperatures and heart attacks.

Readers Digest magazine indicates, using cardiology specialists, several reasons that explain what is behind this association. Let’s meet them later.

6 reasons our hearts fail more easily in winter


Our blood vessels constrict

When it’s cold, our bodies focus on keeping us warm, protecting vital organs like our brains and bones from temperature extremes. lungs. In this protection mechanism, there is a contraction of the blood vessels which makes the blood not circulate so easily throughout the body. Therefore, the heart needs to beat harder and faster to supply the necessary oxygen.

take a walk it will be easy in spring, but in winter it costs more and requires a greater effort on the part of our heart when it is cold. When heart rate and blood pressure increase, so does the risk of heart attack, stroke and blood clots.

Protect yourself from the cold by wearing warm clothing and especially covering the hands, feet and head, which are the parts of the body where we lose the most body heat. Bundle up and save your heart.


We eat less healthy food

It is true that at Christmas and New Year we gain some extra weight and often take a break from the diet. However, eating habits will not only affect our line, but are directly related to the risk of having cardiovascular problems. It is something that we must be careful of throughout the year, but it is in the coldest months that it has the greatest impact.

The blame lies with saturated fats and salt. Salt will cause fluid retention. For those who tend to have heart problems, special attention should be paid to salt, as all the water that accumulates in the body will make it difficult for the heart to work.

Experts recommend drinking plenty of water and eat more vegetables, to the detriment of alcohol and sweets. Use the traditional boiled cabbage or turnip greens, peas, courgettes or aubergines. These foods will help to reduce the intake of calories, animal fat and cholesterol.

Drinking water with meals during parties increases satiety, that is, it makes us less hungry and helps reduce the impact of excessive salt consumption, contributing to better control of blood pressure.

In winter, especially around Christmas, we tend to eat more food. THE excessive food consumption can increase the risk of heart attack, especially at this time.

Each time we eat a heavier meal our digestive system needs more blood to do its job. When we go out on the street after eating a lot, our body has extra difficulties and the blood vessels will contract even more because, there will still be a stomach asking for blood.

Therefore, these two factors combined – cold and eating a lot – are a kind of “cocktail” to provoke a heart attack.

In addition to eating healthily and keeping warm, it is recommended to exercise to prevent this problem.

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We are more likely to have the flu

The flu is also associated with an increased risk of having a heart attack. This is one more reason to consider getting a flu shot in the winter.

Getting the flu affects our entire body. This one will spend a lot more energy trying to recover. For those who already have heart problems, the situation is even worse.

Even if we get sick after the vaccine, the flu will be weaker and require less cardiovascular work.

Apparently not, all the hustle and bustle of this festive season ends up making us a little agitated, especially if the parties are at our house. There is stress between so much to organise, food to make and gifts to buy. There is a proven link between the amygdala (the part of the brain associated with stress) and an increased risk of cardiovascular problems.

Experts recommend the practice of physical exercise that helps to lower stress levels. It’s important that you take care of others and that everything is fine, but we also have to look out for ourselves.


At parties, we feel sadder

It doesn’t happen in all cases, but usually the Christmas season reminds us of a loved one who has passed away and who we miss or of previous Christmases that may be associated with less positive memories. On the other hand, there are those who, for various reasons, are unable to spend Christmas with their loved ones or are going to be alone. Like this year with Covid-19 pandemic.

All this leads to loneliness, sadness and even depression. Loneliness can even break your heart and we don’t mean that figuratively. According to a study in the British Medical Journal, poor social relationships increase the risk of having a heart attack by almost 30 percent.

Depression is also linked to a higher risk of having this problem. If you feel isolated over the Christmas holidays, try, for example, volunteering. You’ll feel better as it can increase the amount of dopamine – a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of pleasure – in the brain.

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