As temperatures start to fall, your risk of a heart attack begins to climb. “Cold weather sometimes creates a perfect storm of risk factors for cardiovascular problems,”
Many of these risks stem from a “mismatch between oxygen supply and demand.” Cold weather can decrease the supply of oxygen-rich blood to your heart muscle. And it can put you in situations that force your heart to work harder; as a result, your heart demands more oxygen-rich blood.
Winter sometimes causes us to overexert. We walk briskly against a strong wind, shovel the driveway, push a car. Exertion increases the heart’s demand for oxygen. “If there’s a blockage in a heart artery that reduces blood flow to the heart muscle, supply may not be sufficient to meet the demand,” Many of us have blockages we don’t know about.
You may change the time of your morning walk or even miss a few days at the peak of the cold wave.
Indoor exercise options may be adopted so that you don’t miss exercise altogether If you do head out, cover exposed parts with cap, muffler and jacket before heading out. Sudden changes of temperature are bad, bout of sneezing is the least dangerous outcome, it may also cause arteries of the heart to clamp down, reducing blood supply to the heat and increasing chances of a heart attack.
Extreme cold also makes us prone to sinus and chest infection. Especially in elderly. These infections can be dangerous for the heart. Getting a flu shot at start of winter is recommended for elderly. It is still not too late, so elderly heart patients are advised to contact their doctors for the flu shot.
Winter is time for indoor parties with lots of good food and alcohol. Despite what you may think, this combo also may cause skin vessels to dilate. So excess heat sensation and low BP may occur, besides abnormal heart rhythms.
So eat and drink sparingly at winter parties, cover yourself well when heading out, and remember that the fine for drunk driving is very steep.
Enjoy the winter in a healthy manner.