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Heavy snowfall linked to heart attack? Shovelling seen as the main reason

In a new study, researchers have found that heavy snowfall could have a link with heart attack. Shovelling after a heavy snowstorm puts pressure on the heart resulting in an attack.

health and fitness Updated: Mar 18, 2017 09:05 IST
Heavy snowfall,Heart attack,Shovelling
Beware of shovelling after a heavy snowfall. It could put you at the risk of a heart attack (Shutterstock)

People living in regions that see heavy snowfall, like India’s Himalayan region, better be careful as you are at an increased risk of a heart attack after a heavy snowstorm, a new study suggests.

The risk was found to be particularly higher for men and researchers believe that shovelling is the main mechanism linking snowfall with heart attack, or myocardial infarction (MI).

“Men are potentially more likely than women to shovel, particularly after heavy snowfalls. Snow shovelling is a demanding cardiovascular exercise requiring more than 75 per cent of the maximum heart rate, particularly with heavy loads,” said study co-author Nathalie Auger from University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre in Quebec, Canada.

The team of researchers looked at data from two separate administrative databases on 128,073 individual hospital admissions and 68,155 deaths from heart attack (MI) in the province of Quebec between 1981 and 2014.

They restricted analysis to months in which snow falls, November to April, and obtained detailed weather information from Environment Canada for each health region included in the study.

Men, more than women, would be prone to a get a heart attack in such a scenario. ( Shutterstock )

About 60 per cent of hospital admissions and deaths due to heart attack were in men, showed the study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

The day after a snowfall had the strongest association.

“Quantity of snowfall was associated with an increased likelihood of hospital admission or death due to MI the following day among men,” the study said.

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First Published: Feb 16, 2017 08:46 IST