Following the drop in temperature during winter, health experts have urged people to avoid excess alcohol intake and heavy physical activity to keep the body warm, as it can lead to heart attack.
They said that winter season brings several health problems along with it, including ailments associated with cold, increase in asthma attacks or other pulmonary diseases, and people are hardly aware of it.
"Cold weather makes the blood vessels constrict and raises blood pressure. Blood clots are also a common phenomenon during the winter months. People who indulge in heavy exercises during the winter months may trigger plaque rupture, which forms the basis of triggering coronary thrombosis," A.K. Saxena, professor of cardiology at AIIMS, told IANS.
According to several study reports, early-morning rise in blood pressure that occurs in most people may increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke in winter.
Prabhakar Shetty, consultant cardiologist at Bengaluru-based Columbia Asia Referral Hospital, said the factors responsible for heart attack in winter can be controlled and prevented if people are aware of health problems that arise in the season and exercise the desired precautions.
"However, we witness very low levels of awareness among the people about the increased risk of heart problems in winter," he said.
In an attempt to raise awareness among the people, the hospital has started a campaign to educate them about the need to take precautions for heart in the winter season.
Speaking on the other activities that can cause heart attack during the season, Brijesh Dhamija, cardiologist at Kolkata-based City Hospital, said," People should not step out unprotected in winter."
"Wear layers of warm clothing to maintain heat. Always wear a head scarf to keep the head and ears covered. Make sure you wear warm socks and gloves to minimize chances of the body losing heat," he told IANS.
"People should also not over-indulge in alcohol, thinking that it will help you keep warm and cosy. Alcohol may increase a person's sensation of warmth and may cause them to underestimate the extra strain their body is under, during the cold," he said.
He said the people should not take chest discomfort lightly.
"Even if the pain is not severe, immediately approach a doctor and get yourself checked," he said.