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Winter increases the Cardiac mortality rate by 50 percent

The fall in our body’s internal temperature is too dangerous for people living with cardiovascular problems who may suffer from angina or chest pain when exposed to cold weather

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Global studies have shown that the number of heart attacks and deaths are higher in winters. The mortality rate due to heart attacks can be as much as 50 percent higher in the cold. It is imperative to not ignore major symptoms of heart failures like irregular discomfort in the chest, severe sweating, pain in the neck, arms, jaws, and shoulders or shortness of breath during winter.

"The main reason for the increase in heart-related ailments in winter is the rise in blood pressure. The arteries become constricted due to which the heart must exert more effort to pump blood. Winters also tend to increase levels of certain proteins in the bloodstream which in turn increases the risk of blood clots. Many heart attacks are caused due to hypothermia, the condition of heart failure due to abnormally low body temperature," said Dr Anil Dhall, Director of Cardiovascular Sciences, Venkateshwar Hospital.

The doctors says, another possible reason is that cold weather allows smog and pollutants to settle on the ground leading to a chest infection, which may propel the incidence of heart attacks. Diversely, shorter and colder days spent indoors can cause a person to become lethargic and lead to a type of depression known as a Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which can also be a risk factor for heart patients.

"To prevent the heart from excessive stress, heart patients must avoid indulging in exhaustive tasks. Apart from unhealthy food, it is also imperative to avoid intake of excess alcohol as this can cause atrial fibrillation, the most common irregular heartbeat problem called arrhythmia. Eat in small quantities at regular intervals. Extreme complications of the heart may require treatment including radiofrequency ablation, implantable cardioverter defibrillator, and supportive care such as cardiac monitoring," added Dr Dhall.

The number of deaths due to heart attacks, cardiac arrests, and strokes increases during the winters. As the temperatures drop, it becomes difficult to retain heat inside the body. The fall in our body's internal temperature is too dangerous for people living with cardiovascular problems who may suffer from angina or chest pain when exposed to cold weather. In fact, winter is the most vulnerable time for patients having a background history of heart diseases.

INTERNAL BODY TEMPERATURE

As the temperatures drop, it becomes difficult to retain heat inside the body. The fall in our body’s internal temperature is too dangerous for people living with cardiovascular problems who may suffer from angina or chest pain when exposed to cold weather

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