Those who already have heart disease have a 31 per cent increased risk of heart attack in the winter, according to a research report published in the Public Library of Science Journal. After all, why does the incidence of heart attack and stroke increase in cold and how can their risk be reduced?
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Understand why the danger increases in cold, first
The activities of the body become slow while sleeping. BP and sugar levels are also low. But even before waking up, the body's autonomic nervous system works to bring it back to normal. This system works in all seasons. But in cold days, the heart has to work harder for it. This increases the risk of heart attack in those who have heart disease.
...Because the nerves contract more
In cold weather, the veins constrict more and become stiffer. This increases the flow of blood to warm and activate the nerves which also increases the blood pressure. Elevated blood pressure also increases the risk of heart attack.
In such cases, for those who already have heart disease or who have had a heart attack before, more cold becomes fatal.
Here are three things to keep in mind if you have heart disease
- Don’t drink too much water
One of the functions of the heart is to pump liquid along with the blood present in the body. Those who have heart disease have to work harder to pump their heart anyway. In this case, if you drink too much water, the heart will have to work harder in pumping and the risk of heart attack will increase.
You can consult your doctor about how much water to drink. Many people get up in the morning and drink two-three glasses of water. If you are a heart patient, do not do this in any weather, not at all in cold weather.
- Eat less salt
Heart patients should take the minimum amount of salt in their diet, not only because it will increase the problem of blood pressure, but also keep in mind that salt prevents water in the body. Stopping water will mean that the heart has to pump more liquid in the body. That means you have to work harder. The result can be a heart attack.
- Don’t get up early in the morning and go for a walk early
People who have had a heart attack before or whose heart is at high risk should not leave bed early or go for a walk on cold days. The nerves will already be constricted due to the cold and when exposed to the cold environment, the body will have to work harder to keep itself warm due to the cold outside. This will make the heart work harder.