Winter - When your heart feels the cold too!
- By Dr. T Deepa Porkodi
As per a study in America, 193.6 people of every 10000 people die of a heart disease every year. 53% of the heart attacks occur in the winter months.
Heart diseases have a seasonal trend as found by medical research recently. A team of medical researchers recently conducted a survey which saw 10,000 participants between the ages 35 to 80 from around seven European countries. The study was conducted to see if there is any seasonal variation in the presentation of heart diseases. The participants were measured on the parameters of blood pressure, waist circumference, body mass index, blood glucose levels and blood lipid levels. The parameters were later adjusted for sex, age and smoking. The results revealed that the incidence of heart disease shows an upward trend in the winter month [Jan to Feb] as compared to the summer months [June-Aug].
The researchers accept that there is no logical explanation to these findings. A plausible cause being the fact that the eating habits change in winter. One tends to eat more which in turn increases the cholesterol levels leading to heart diseases.
Several other theories are being put forth. According to one, during the winter months the body undergoes hormonal imbalance. The day and night variation in the hormone levels, especially that of cortisol varies. This results in a lower threshold for heart attacks.
Yet another theory says that the cold temperature tends to constrict the arteries narrowing the blood flow to the heart tissue and this result in a heart attack.
On the basis of this study, scientists advise that more attention is to be paid to heart health during the winters.