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Heart Attacks More Common In Winter

Winter means curling up under warm blankets, hot chocolate, and eating all that calorie-rich food which you are unable to have in summer. But this also means weight gain and less physical activity, which can adversely impact your heart. In extreme cases, heart attacks also happen and experts admit that the cold season increases the chances of heart attack.

Reasons Why Heart Attacks Are More Common In Winter

Dr Akash Shah, Consultant Pathologist, Neuberg Supratech Reference Laboratories, shares, “Heart attacks are more common in winter due to various factors. The cold weather can constrict blood vessels, increasing blood pressure and strain on the heart. People tend to be less physically active in winter, leading to weight gain and higher cholesterol levels. Additionally, winter months often see an increase in respiratory infections, which can trigger inflammation and stress on the heart.” He adds, “Seasonal changes in hormones and vitamin D deficiency may also contribute. It’s essential to stay active, maintain a healthy diet, and keep warm during winter to reduce the risk of heart attacks.”

Heart Attack Prevention

Dr Akash Shah says that preventing heart attacks requires maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle. “Regular exercise, balanced diet low in saturated fats, and high in fruits and vegetables are crucial. Quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption. Manage stress through relaxation techniques. Regular check-ups to monitor blood pressure and cholesterol levels are essential. It’s important to follow your doctor’s advice and take prescribed medications as directed,” Dr Shah advises. Some tests can help in assessing the condition of your heart. Check below.

Tests To Check Heart Ailments

Dr Shah lists the common tests to assess the risk of heart attacks, which include:

Cholesterol Blood Test: Measures levels of LDL and HDL cholesterol.

Blood Pressure Measurement: Checks for hypertension, a leading cause of heart attacks.

Electrocardiogram (ECG): Records the heart’s electrical activity, detecting irregularities.

Stress Test: Monitors heart function during physical stress.

Coronary Calcium Score: Measures calcium buildup in coronary arteries.

C-reactive Protein Test: Assesses inflammation in the body. Individuals should consult their healthcare providers for personalized recommendations based on their medical history, age, and risk factors.

Warning Signs For Heart Attacks

“Warning signs of a heart attack include chest pain or discomfort, often described as pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain that may radiate to the arms, neck, jaw, or back. Shortness of breath, nausea, and cold sweats are common accompanying symptoms. Some people may experience atypical symptoms, such as indigestion or extreme fatigue,” says Dr Shah.

It’s important to recognise these signs promptly, as early intervention is crucial in minimising damage to the heart muscle, the doctor suggests. “If you or someone experiences these symptoms, consult your doctor. Quick medical attention can be life-saving in the event of a heart attack. Remember, not everyone experiences the same symptoms, so it’s essential to be vigilant and seek help if in doubt,” Dr Shah says.

Also Read: Effective Exercises To Keep Your Heart Healthy And Happy

Dos And Don’ts To Minimise Heart Attack Risks

To prevent heart attacks, there are important do’s and don’ts. Dr Akash Shah lists the following:


Maintain a Healthy Diet: Consume fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, and limit saturated fats and trans fats.

Regular Exercise: Engage in physical activity for at least 150 minutes a week.

Control Blood Pressure: Monitor and manage high blood pressure.

Quit Smoking: Smoking is a major risk factor; quitting is crucial.

Manage Stress: Practice stress-reduction techniques like yoga or meditation.

Limit Alcohol Consumption: Consume alcohol in moderation.

Ensure Adequate Sleep: Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night.

Go For Regular Checkups: Visit your healthcare provider for regular checkups and blood tests.


Overindulge in Sugary Foods: Excessive sugar can contribute to heart disease.

Fall Prey To Sedentary Lifestyle: Avoid prolonged sitting and inactivity.

Consume Excess Salt: Reduce sodium intake to control blood pressure.

Have Excessive Alcohol: Excessive drinking can harm the heart.

Ignore Symptoms: Seek medical attention for chest pain, shortness of breath, or other heart-related symptoms.

These guidelines can significantly reduce the risk of heart attacks.