Extreme winter increases the risk of heart attacks among the people suffering from cardiac diseases, particularly in hilly areas where the chances of sudden heart attack are more due to harsher climate conditions.
Renowned cardiologist and director of cardiology department Fortis Hospital Mohali, Dr RK Jaswal, who was here to attend a special screening camp for heart patients revealed this while interacting with media.
The screening camp was organised by Fortis Hospital in collaboration with Lions Club, Dharamsala.
Explaining in detail, Dr Jaswal said that winter months are especially tough for heart. There is a change in the ratio of daylight hours to dark hours, which changes the hormonal balance and the hormones involved can lower the threshold for a cardiovascular event, he said.
“The drop in temperatures causes arteries to tighten, thus restricting blood flow and reducing the oxygen supply to heart. All this can trigger a heart attack,” he said.
He added that even though the cold weather might tempt to indulge in sugary sweets, the people suffering from cardiovascular disease due to genetics, obesity or stress, should not increase the intake of fatty foods.
Dr Jaswal advised the people living in high hills of Himachal Pradesh to keep themselves insulated in winter.
When the weather is cold, the heart has to work harder to maintain body heat. He advised people to stay hydrated by drinking at least 8 to 10 glasses of water per day during winter months. He also advised people to keep themselves away from high calorie food and alcohol.
“People suffering from high blood pressure should avoid early morning walk as it also increases the risk of heart attacks,” said Dr Jaswal and suggested that people should walk when the sun is out.
“Besides, use multiple layers of clothes to avoid exposure to extreme cold conditions, and therefore, heart attacks,” he added.