Winter's deadly grip: How cold temperatures spike heart attack risks and how to protect your heart
As far back as the 1930s, it was observed that low temperatures are associated with an increase in heart attack mortalities. This phenomenon is attributed to the seasonal nature of certain heart disease risk factors.
Studies have shown that the number of hospitalizations due to heart problems escalates in winter. Lower temperatures contribute to a rise in blood pressure and a faster heart rate, subsequently increasing the risk of heart muscle ischemia and even a heart attack.
Moreover, a decrease in temperatures can lead to changes in the activation of clotting factors, which can result in arterial thrombosis. The reduction of thyroid hormone secretion in winter also worsens the general functioning of the heart.
It's crucial to remember that transitioning from sleep to daily activity can lead to increased blood pressure and a faster pulse, implying that the risk of cardiovascular problems increases during the morning hours.
The impact of physical effort during winter
It's equally important to understand that sudden physical exertion in winter can impose an additional burden on the heart. When our blood vessels constrict in response to the cold, blood pressure can increase sharply! Therefore, if the beginning of the year is our motivation to start working out, we should ensure our workouts are moderate and we don't expose ourselves to extreme conditions.
Precautions for patients with heart diseases
Particularly during winter, patients diagnosed with heart diseases should exercise utmost caution. Extremely low temperatures can hinder the flow of oxygen to the heart, which can be especially detrimental for people with ischemic heart disease. It's advisable for such patients to avoid exposure to very low temperatures and follow their doctors' recommendations closely.
It's important to also note that an unhealthy diet and obesity significantly contribute to the risk of cardiovascular diseases. During winter, we often succumb to the temptation of unhealthy snacks. Regular medication for hypertension and elimination of unhealthy products from our diet are crucial for the prevention of health issues related to our cardiovascular system.