Beware! You may take winter to heart | india | Hindustan Times
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Beware! You may take winter to heart

WEAK HEARTS can barely fight cold, as a fresh chilly winter breath may really prove fatal to them! Senior cardiologist of King George?s Medical University Prof RK Saran says there is a close connection between cold and your heart?s health. ?It has been observed that more heart attacks occur during winter months and specially in the mornings. This is because clotting mechanism in the body goes up during winter,? says Dr Saran.

india Updated: Jan 10, 2006 00:33 IST

WEAK HEARTS can barely fight cold, as a fresh chilly winter breath may really prove fatal to them!

Senior cardiologist of King George’s Medical University Prof RK Saran says there is a close connection between cold and your heart’s health.

“It has been observed that more heart attacks occur during winter months and specially in the mornings. This is because clotting mechanism in the body goes up during winter,” says Dr Saran.

He says during winter there is less sweating in the body due to change in the temperature from 35 degree Celsius in summer to 10 degree Celsius in winter.

The salt intake but remains the same as it is in the summer, which gives a boost to clotting mechanism during winter.

“This mechanism may not harm a normal heart but the weak ones or who already had an attack are prone to attacks,” Dr Saran stated.

At KGMU the number of patients with ‘chest pain’ and ‘acute breathlessness’ goes up by 20 per cent during winter. Though there have not been much study on reasons for heart attack in winter but data show attacks are more in this season, Dr Saran says.

“Several theories exist on how the cold weather was related to heart attacks, but the most common is that the inflammation caused by respiratory infections during winter could make blood vessels more susceptible,” says another cardiologist Dr Rakesh Singh.

He says in winter there is a normal muscle spasm, which makes the blood vessels narrow, and thus supply to the tissues is reduced. This gives peripheral resistance and the blood pressure also rises. Risk in such a condition is more for those with cardiac problem, Dr Singh explains.

Dr Shraddha Singh of the department of Physiology at KGMU said people with high blood pressure are more vulnerable to heart attacks during cold weather.

“Those having cold or certain diseases, such as diabetes, are at a greater risk. More so consuming things like alcohol, nicotine, and drugs that inhibit the body’s response to the cold or impair judgment prove major risk enhancers,” Dr Shraddha Singh says.

“Keeping warm is the best thing to do. This not only keeps you fit but also maintains the ‘delicate balance’ of the body between clotting and its removal,” Dr Saran said.