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Avoiding a holiday heart attack

Study finds heart attack increase around Christmas
Posted at 8:25 AM, Dec 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-19 09:25:48-05

This is one of the most joyous times of the year, but doctors say it can be the worst time for your health.

They call them "Holiday Heart Attacks."

New this morning, a doctor shares ways to help you avoid a trip to the hospital.

Dr. Daliah Wachs says, "A few decades ago we coined it the Christmas coronary."

Playing it safe is the name of the game this holiday season, according to this doctor.

Dr. Wachs says, "We notice a small uptick in people getting heart attacks around Christmas season"

And the reason?

Doctor Daliah Wachs says cold temperatures have long been tied to heart stress and less oxygen reaching vital organs.

"Sometimes the cold can exacerbate broncos spasm or them not being able to get a full deep breath, so being outside in the cold can effect your breathing"

Of course, there's also the emotional stress of the holiday season; shopping, family time, traveling, you name it that can impact a person physically.

Doctor Wachs says a study found a five percent increase in heart attacks during the Christmas season.

That number doesn't sound like much, but for a doctor, it's a red flag!

Dr. Daliah Wachs says, "This is the time you eat like garbage and so your sugar is going to go up, your cholesterol is going to go up, your blood pressure is going to go up, so that to me is very significant"

And it's not just what you eat, but what you drink, another stress on the heart, alcohol.

Doctor Dahliah says there's more drinking overall during the holidays which can increase a person's blood pressure and can interfere with current medications.

"When you drink it can cause abnormal heart rhythms, it can also cause vasoconstriction and issues with the heart"

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