Heart Attacks Spike Over Christmas & New Year, & It’s Not Just The Cold Weather

Cardiologists weigh in on why and provide life-saving tips for a heart-healthy holiday.

By: George Citroner | The Epoch Times

The holiday season presents an increased risk that many people may not expect. Research reveals you’re more likely to suffer a life-threatening cardiac emergency over this festive period than at any other time of the year. The culprits behind the surge include increased stress, disrupted routines, and maybe even too much holiday cheer.

In 2004, a study in the American Heart Association’s Circulation journal found that more cardiac deaths occur on Dec. 25 than on any other day. The next highest numbers are on Dec. 26 and Jan. 1.

Some cardiac emergencies may result from severe winter conditions and freezing temperatures, as the cold may shrink blood vessels. However, a 2016 study—in New Zealand, where December and January are warm—saw a similar trend, linking cardiac events to holidays.

More evidence suggests that the notable increase in cardiac events is somehow connected to major holidays in general.

An observational study analysed more than 283,000 Swedish heart attack cases from 1998 to 2013, documenting symptom onset times. It found that Christmas and midsummer holidays carried higher heart attack risk, especially Christmas Eve. No increased risk was seen during Easter or sporting events, including a FIFA World Cup and Winter Olympic Games. There was an insignificant trend in men for the Summer Olympic Games.

This risk was higher during early mornings and Mondays. It was more pronounced in those older than 75 with diabetes and coronary artery disease history.

The increase in heart attacks around Midsummer, a popular holiday in Sweden celebrating the summer solstice, seems to affect men more, Dr. Ahmad Alkhalil, an interventional cardiologist and director of Percutaneous Mitral and Tricuspid Interventions at the Stony Brook Heart Institute, told The Epoch Times.

“The women are not as affected,” he said, noting that perhaps this may be due to barbecue and drinking activities in which men are more involved. “Whereas for Christmas and New Year, it’s kind of more equal, there is no gender bias,” he added. “Both male and female tend to participate.”

Gallbladder Disease Often Comes After Heavy Holiday Meals, Doctor Warns

‘Broken Heart Syndrome’ Responsible in Some Cases

Although many observational studies link the holidays to heart attacks, their methodology limits proving causation, Dr. Alkhalil said. “So all that you can say is that there is an association,” he noted.

These events resemble a condition called stress-induced cardiomyopathy, or “broken heart syndrome,” he added. This is a temporary condition characterized by sudden weakening of the heart muscle.

Also known as Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, it appears to be tied to increased stress, though it isn’t fully understood, Dr. Alkhalil said. The key is an identifiable stressor that significantly decreases heart function. Unlike obstructive disease needing stents, the heart vessels lack blockages.

It’s typical for patients to come in with a heart attack, but there is obstruction, Dr. Alkhalil said. “You just treat them with medication, and then the heart recovers slowly.”

Holiday Celebrations or Holiday Hazards?

Holiday stressors such as travel and family time often disrupt healthy routines, Dr. Supreeti Behuria, director of nuclear cardiology at Northwell Staten Island University Hospital in New York, told The Epoch Times.

“Some people forget their medications, their daily exercise routines, and may not adhere to a heart-healthy diet,” Dr. Behuria said.

She pointed out that a combination of these factors during the holidays may lead to a cardiac event or a heart attack.

Together, these raise cardiac event risk, especially for those with conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes.

Another danger is “holiday heart syndrome,” an irregular heartbeat from excessive drinking that can lead to heart failure or stroke if untreated.

“To reduce the risk of experiencing holiday heart syndrome, one should eat and drink in moderation over the holidays, avoid excessive caffeine intake, and stay well-hydrated,” Dr. Behuria said. “No more than one alcoholic beverage per day in women and two in men.”

How to Go Easy on Your Heart

Beyond holiday stresses and overindulgence, severe cold weather presents its own heart health dangers. However, following basic health practices can reduce heart disease risk year-round.

Dr. Mohammed Elamir, lead physician at Aviv Clinics, offers five pieces of advice for lowering cardiac risk factors. He calls them his “five pillars of good health.”

  1. Eat right for you: “Not everyone should be on the same diet,” Dr. Elamir said. He recommends consulting a dietician to tailor nutrition to your needs.
  2. Exercise enough: Not all of us should strive to become marathon runners, Dr. Elamir said. Talk to an exercise professional to determine safe fitness levels for you.
  3. Sleep well: “Quality sleep is critical to health,” he said, noting that if you aren’t refreshed from a night’s rest, you should consult your doctor.
  4. Challenge your brain: Though it isn’t directly heart-related, keeping your mind active can lower cardiac risks by preventing dementia associated with heart disease. Consider learning new skills to avoid cognitive decline, Dr. Elamir said.
  5. Learn to manage stress: Stress is associated with heart problems, among other diseases. Dr. Elamir suggests exploring spirituality, building friendships, and seeking social interactions to maintain health all year long.

*  *  *


Can A Dental Infection Cause A Massive Heart Attack?

For literally hundreds of years now, the idea that a dental infection could seed, initiate, and promote virtually all chronic degenerative diseases has been hotly debated in the medical and dental communities, often with much more passion and hyperbole than with science.

This “debate” continues today, and nothing encapsulates this focal infection link between the mouth and the body better than the root canal-treated tooth. And while the root canal-treated tooth is certainly not the only significant source of dental infection and toxicity, it is easily the most devastating one—as you will soon see.

Conventional Dentistry Refuses to Inform Patients about the Risk of a Dental Infection from a Root Canal Procedure

The “success” of a root canal-treated tooth for a given individual depends on the goal of the root canal procedure. If the goal of a root canal procedure is to retain a pain-free natural tooth for both esthetic and chewing function, then the root canal procedure is frequently “successful.”

Continue reading …

*  *  *

READ MORE: The Midnight Hour: Astrology Overview December 18th – 24th, 2023

Awareness! 7 Reasons To Abandon Your Comfort Zone & Why You’ll Never Regret It

Telegram: Stay connected and get the latest updates by following us on Telegram!

We’d love to hear from you! If you have a comment about this article or if you have a tip for a future Collective Spark Story please let us know below in the comment section.

The Epoch Times

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *