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2 for the price of 1: Christmas and Heart Attack

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

According to studies, our risks of having a heart attack rise by 5% around the holidays, and this isn't only because we overindulge at holiday dinners.

Christmas Eve is frequently a time to spend with family, from wonderful food to thoughtful gifts. However, according to a recent study, this is also the time of year when people are most likely to have a heart attack.

Researchers from Swedish health institutions recently undertook a research, which was published in the British Medical Journal, to investigate national holidays and athletic events as potential causes of a heart attack.

Over a 15-year span, they investigated approximately 300,000 heart attack victims in Sweden. The data they examined included the date and time the symptoms began.

After studying the data, scientists discovered that Christmas was the busiest season for heart attacks in Sweden. In fact, they found that the risk of having a heart attack was 15% greater on Christmas Day and 37% higher on Christmas Eve, compared to the two weeks before and after the holiday.

Furthermore, they claim that a heart attack is more likely about 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

There was no discernible relationship between heart attacks with New Year's Eve, Easter, or athletic events.

Some holidays, the authors believe, might cause stress. Traveling, dealing with problematic relatives, and planning meals and activities may all be tough.

Despite their findings, they cautioned that connection does not imply causality.

Day-to-day life might be stressful enough, but when we add the added social expectations that come with the holidays, it's no surprise that our hearts begin to suffer. Stress has been linked to a variety of health issues, including higher blood pressure and even cholesterol levels.

Solution: Relax and avoid getting fired up. Take time to think, pray, and relax, and don't over-commit or take on more than you can do. It is OK to say "No."

The Weather Is Cold then Hot, wait its Cold again, no its.....

Shivering is one of the body's natural reactions to chilly weather.

Constricting blood vessels is one way the body copes with cold.

When the arteries and veins constrict, there is less space for blood to flow through, and blood pressure rises.

Furthermore, cold temperature promotes blood to clot faster.

Pushing fast-clotting blood through an artery that is already restricted can quickly result in a blocked artery and a heart attack.

Stay warm as a solution.

Avoid intense outdoor activities as the temperatures drop if you have known heart issues, such as a diagnosis of coronary artery disease (CAD) or a history of heart attacks. Layering your clothing can help you stay comfortable.

Seasonal Sickness

Being sick puts additional strain on your heart, and over the holidays, chances of sickness increase especially with Covid still lurking with new variants from time to time

We're typically in close-knit groups during Christmas events, when illnesses, especially the flu, may readily transmit from person to person.

Solution: Practice excellent hand hygiene, stay away from sick individuals, and get yourself vaccinated if you haven't already.

Putting Yourself FIRST

Putting everyone else first is a normal holiday practice.

We can easily become too busy to check our blood pressure or adequately manage our blood sugar, and many individuals are unwilling to seek medical attention if they begin to display symptoms for fear of disrupting their holiday plans.

Make time for yourself.

Keep an eye on your blood pressure and blood sugar levels, attempt to keep your healthy eating habits, and get medical attention promptly if you suspect you're having a heart attack.

Don't allow heart illness keep you from spending time with the people you care about during the holidays.

And it doest hurt to get yourself FIRST AID certified in cases where emergency situation arises.

Now that you know the Month that Heart Attack and Cardiac Arrest happen most frequent, its essential that you equipped yourself. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation or better known as CPR is used to restore breathing and blood circulation to an unresponsive person.

CPR is an incredibly important procedure that can save lives. But learning CPR is an intensive procedure that requires some training, which is usually in the form of a day-long class.

Singapore First Aid Training Centre offers CPR certification courses. Go to SGFIRSTAID website for more information.


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