Heart attacks more common if it’s cold
HEART attacks are more common during cold weather, with a study finding they increased “dramatically” when the temperature dropped below 15C.
Researchers said people at high risk of a heart attack should be put on alert for symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath when the temperature drops, suggesting they get sent smartphone messages warning them to be extra vigilant.
Those likely to be at risk include people who have previously had a heart attack, the elderly, smokers, or those with diabetes, high blood pressure, or who are obese.
The study conducted in Taiwan is being presented at the Asian Pacific Society of Cardiology (APSC) Congress 2018 in Taipei and used the data of nearly one million patients.
The team looked at whether patients were more likely to have experienced certain climate factors before their heart attack than the participants who did not have a heart attack.
They found that lower temperature, temperature fluctuations, and stronger wind separately increased the risk of having a heart attack the following day.
Study author Dr Po-jui Wu, a cardiologist at Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan, said: “We found that the number of heart attacks (acute myocardial infarctions) fluctuated with the seasons, with more attacks occurring in winter compared to summer.
“Heart attacks increased dramatically when the temperature dropped below 15C.”