The talk was organized for the members of Rotary club
Experts shared tips to avoid heart problems in winter and tap the early signs of heart attack
If you are a heart patient, you need to exercise greater caution and care during the winter season. Doctors at Columbia Asia Hospital, Ghaziabad say that the risk of heart attacks peaks in the winter season due to a number of factors.
The winter chill, drop in mercury level and damp weather not only dehydrates the skin, causes allergies and spurt in joint pain and inflammation, but it also increases the risk of heart attacks, particularly in patients who have cardiovascular disease.
As the temperatures drop and chilly winds start blowing, it becomes difficult to retain body heat. The loss of heat from body or a fall in body’s internal temperature is dangerous for people living with cardiovascular disease. People with coronary heart disease often suffer angina or chest pain when exposed to cold weather.
In fact, studies in several countries have shown that the number of heart attacks and even heart attack related deaths are higher in the colder season as compared to the summers. The prime reason behind the increase in incidences could be the increase in blood pressure often due drop in temperature. Besides, winters also tends to increase levels of certain proteins that could increase the risk of blood clots.
Doctors at Columbia Asia Hospital, Ghaziabad say that there is a need to increase awareness among people about this vulnerability and educate them to take reasonable preventive measures.
“During winters the level of blood pressure tends to be higher, and there is also a rise in levels of certain proteins in the blood stream. Besides, during the season, heart also has to work harder in a bid to ensure that warm blood reaches all corners of the body and the body retains heat. Sometimes, this strain can be excessive for people who already have a weak heart. This is why it is the elderly who are most at risk in winters,” said Dr Sanjay Mittal, Consultant, Cardiology.
There is an alarming rise in the number of cases cardiovascular diseases in India. According to the Global Burden of Diseases Study conducted by WHO, by 2020 India will have more than 4.77 million deaths a year due to cardiovascular diseases and 2.58 million deaths due to coronary heart diseases. Therefore, it becomes necessary to raise awareness amongst the masses and educating them regarding the importance of regular heart check up and screening.
“Cholesterol levels fluctuate significantly with the change in the season, which may leave people with borderline high cholesterol with greater cardiovascular risk during the winter months. Thus, it becomes pertinent to regular check the cholesterol levels and go for regular heart checkups” said Dr Rahul Ramteke, Consultant, Cardiology.
To prevent the heart from excessive stress, heart patients should avoid indulging in exhausting tasks that overstress them. However, indulging oneself with light yet regular exercise or physical activities is always advisable.
Dr Rahul Ramteke adds “It is crucial that we keep small things in mind and do not stress the heart”. “Avoid stressing or exhausting as that would make the heart work more. Also, many people tend to eat more than normal in winters which is not beneficial to the heart. Further, many heart attacks are also caused due to hypothermia, the condition of having an abnormally low body temperature suddenly. Therefore, ensure covering yourself with comfortable layers to keep the body warm”.