Take care of your heart during winter

  • Tanbir Dhaliwal, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Jan 12, 2016 12:52 IST

With cases of heart failure increasing by one-and-ahalf to two times during winters, cardiologist’s advice people to take extra care of their hearts.

Around 7-10 new cases of acute coronary syndrome are reported daily at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER). The number is higher than the four to seven cases reported daily in summers.

“During winters, there is less sweating, leading to no salt loss from the body. The fluid overload becomes more (hypervolemia) during winters leading to heart problems,” said head of cardiology department at PGI Dr Yashpaul Sharma.

During cold weather, heart works harder to maintain body heat due to which arteries tighten. This restricts blood flow and oxygen supply to the heart. All these factors could trigger a heart attack, especially amongst those with existing heart diseases.

People are advised to increase the frequency of their visit to doctors and check their blood pressure once or twice a week in winters.

“Elderly people and those suffering from cardiac problems should take extra care and get their blood pressure, lipid profile, echocardiography (an ultrasound test, called echo) checked during the season. Patients who have suffered heart attack should revisit their doctors as their medicine needs to be adjusted according to the temperature and function of the heart,” he said.

The cardiologist advise people to wear clothes in layers, avoid taking oily food and eating late night, adequate sleep and maintaining good immunity. The fluid intake among cardiac patients should be according to doctors’ advice.

Dr Paul also asked people to bask in the sun as it will help reduce appetite. “When our body is exposed to sun for long, the body will have to maintain the temperature of the internal core. When one is exposed to the cold, more energy is spent on maintaining the temperature, which is usually compensated by eating more oily food or more quantity of food,” he said.

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