Winter weather, snow shoveling pose heart risks

December 16th, 2012 in Health /
Winter weather, snow shoveling pose heart risks
Expert gives tips for cold-weather heart health.


Expert gives tips for cold-weather heart health.

(HealthDay)—As temperatures fall during the winter months, the risk for heart attacks rises for people with heart conditions and those engaging in rigorous physical activity.

"When the temperature outside drops, our blood vessels narrow to prevent our bodies from losing heat," Dr. Holly Andersen, at the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute of the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, said in a medical center news release. "This is a natural response that can also put people with and those involved in at greater risk of having a heart attack."

Many people are unaware of the dangers that low temperatures and can pose to their hearts, cautioned Andersen, who is director of education and outreach at the medical center. Shoveling snow, for example, is one of the most exhausting and risky activities people do in the winter since it can raise blood pressure and dramatically increase people's risk for a heart attack.

To protect your heart health this winter, Andersen offered the following safety tips:

Anyone who is overweight, older than 50 or has suffered a heart attack should talk to their doctor before shoveling snow or starting a new .

More information: The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more about heart attack prevention.

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

"Winter weather, snow shoveling pose heart risks." December 16th, 2012. http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-12-winter-weather-shoveling-pose-heart.html