Are There Really More Heart Attacks During The Holidays?

Statistics show, heart attacks do increase during the holidays by 5%. 

We celebrate Thanksgiving by ditching our normal diet for rich and fatty foods, which can negatively impact the heart.  Ingesting fatty foods such as stuffing and gravy increases fatty plaque in the bloodstream and narrowing the arteries back to the heart.  This is called atherosclerosis and causes coronary artery disease.  A blood clot from the fatty deposit may break off and occlude coronary arteries, causing a heart attack.  

Symptoms of a heart condition can mirror symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn, which are not abnormal experiences around Thanksgiving and should not be ignored.  Anyone with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and smokers are at greater risk of coronary artery disease and other serious heart problems. 

Cold weather and physical activity also impact the heart.  Blood vessels constrict in cold weather, which raises blood pressure and increases the chances of a blood clot.  The strain on the heart increases, especially if exerting yourself.  Raking leaves, shoveling snow, and moving heavy objects when unaccustomed to physical activity can be dangerous for your heart. 

Heart health should not be lost in the bustle of the holiday season.  The doctors at Carolina Heart and Leg Center, P.A. will address any health concerns and recommend healthy eating and exercise guidelines.  A healthy heart and body is the most important gift you can give yourself. 

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