A heart attack, also referred to as a myocardial infarction, happens when something blocks the blood vessels, typically a blood clot, abruptly cutting off blood flow to the heart. Doctors regard heart attacks as an emergency because they deprive the body of oxygen and can result in abrupt death. Therefore, if someone is exhibiting heart attack symptoms, they should get emergency medical help.
As cold weather affects cardiac and circulation functioning, it puts more stress on the heart.
The cold weather increases the chances of heart attacks in people with cardiovascular issues. As a result, it is usual for more serious heart problems to manifest themselves during the winter and cold snaps.
Why are heart attacks more common in winter?
The cold impacts your heart in several different ways. A cold environment causes physical alterations in your circulatory system. Additionally, you could be less active throughout the winter since you prefer to stay indoors to unwind and be warm. Consequently, you might not work out your body and heart as much.
Heart attacks in winter were more frequent, according to a study conducted in 2017 on the correlation between various weather conditions and the state of the heart. The heart needs to work harder to keep a person warm in chilly conditions. As a result, cold temperatures may harm the heart and result in:
- A faster heartbeat
- The blood pressure rising
- Having more oxygen in the blood causes it to thicken, which can cause blood clotting
People with cardiovascular disorders may be more vulnerable to the negative effects of the cold, such as arterial stiffness and high blood pressure. All these elements increase the heart’s workload and raise the risk of a heart attack. A heart attack can also be brought on by respiratory tract infections, which are worse and spread more widely in the winter.
Ways to prevent heart attacks in winter
There are ways to lessen one’s risk of suffering a heart attack during cold weather. People should make an effort to limit the length and intensity of their exposure to cold weather in order to prevent the impact of low temperatures on the heart.
This could be achieved by:
- Maintaining body warmth by donning many layers of clothing and a heated hat.
- Avoiding or restricting the consumption of alcoholic beverages when spending time in chilly settings because it can give the impression that you’re warmer.
- Avoid overworking the body by taking more breaks from physical exercise and coming inside frequently to warm up if spending a lot of time outside.
- The truth is that cold weather and cardiac issues don’t mix well, so exercise caution if you have a known heart condition. Take it easy if you’ve already experienced a heart attack or have heart disease. Working with a doctor can give you confidence when it comes to heart-healthy exercise and assist you in getting ready for winter.
- Limit your intake of alcohol and coffee because they can raise blood pressure. So be mindful of how much you drink before going outside.
- Avoiding smoking or vaping since tobacco products can raise blood pressure and lead to plaque formation. One of the best things you can do for your heart is to give up.
- Maintain regular blood pressure checks. Reduce your chance of having a heart attack by managing your blood pressure. Don’t forget to take your meds as prescribed. Contact an expert immediately if you experience chest pain, nausea, vertigo, or excessive perspiration.
Warm beverages and hot meals are appropriate ways to stay warm when outside is chilly. Furthermore, while it’s cold outside, working out inside and staying active is critical. This is because regular exercise can aid in delaying or preventing the onset of cardiovascular problems.
The prevention of respiratory infections throughout the winter also involves other precautions. The flu and pneumococcal vaccines are suitable preventative strategies since they can lower the likelihood of having cardiovascular problems. Other, more consistent preventive steps include regularly washing your hands, refraining from touching your face, and avoiding crowded places.
If someone gets sick with an infection, they should take it easy until complete recovery before going outside in the cold. According to the majority of cardiologists, those who are older, routinely drink or smoke, and don’t exercise consistently are most at risk. These individuals may be able to minimize their risk of having a heart attack in the winter by minimizing their exposure to colder temperatures and maintaining a consistent amount of daily physical exercise.
Consult an expert for appropriate guidance
If you want to be in charge of your health, Poona Preventive Cardiology Centre will help you understand the chances of heart attacks in winter and how to prevent them. Poona Preventive Cardiology Centre is the only clinic in Pune that offers the safest and clinically approved Non-Surgical treatments for cardiovascular diseases based on Preventive Cardiology principles that help you avoid risky surgeries like bypasses and angioplasty.