MILWAUKEE, Wis., Dec. 18, 2019 — According to a study published in Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association (AHA), the winter holiday season is considered a risk factor for cardiac and noncardiac death.
While researchers don’t know exactly why heart attacks are more common around holidays, they note a number of possible reasons, including changes in diet and alcohol consumption during the holidays; stress from family interactions, strained finances, travel and entertaining; respiratory problems from burning wood; and not paying attention to the signs and symptoms of a heart attack.
“The progression of heart disease doesn’t happen overnight, so an uptick in cardiac death during the holidays is actually more the acute manifestations of the disease,” said Jorge Plutzky, M.D., a national volunteer with the American Heart Association. “Factors like cold weather, stress and dietary indiscretion can contribute to a chain of events leading to more stress on the heart. A cardiac event might be triggered because the heart is working harder.”
“Make sure the holidays don’t get in the way of taking your medicines and continuing to be attentive to a healthy diet,” he said. “But even when the holidays are passed, these things continue to be issues all year long because heart disease remains a leading threat to America’s health” says Plutzky.