Is Your Heart Winter Ready?

woman hugging large red heart

February is usually the time many people start thinking about hearts thanks to Valentine’s Day and American Heart Month, but for the 15 million people affected by coronary artery disease (CAD) – the buildup of plaque in the arteries that could lead to a heart attack – December is an even better time to be heart aware.”Between the days of December 25th and January 7th we have way more heart attacks than any other time of the year,” Dr. Alpesh R. Shah, MD, a practicing cardiologist (heart specialist) in Lake Jackson, TX, shared in a recent interview with BlackDoctor.org. “Believe it or not,” Dr. Shah added,  “December 25th is one day of the year where we have more heart disease-related deaths compared to any other day of the year.”

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The winter months are a special time of the year, where the amount of heart attacks goes up by almost 30 percent. Is this because of the cold temperatures? As Dr. Shah explains, there are various theories about why this may be happening. The heart may have more workload, require more oxygen, have more stress on itself (last minute holiday shopping frenzy, perhaps?) or there could be a hormone imbalance.

“When somebody gets coronary artery disease they develop significant narrowing. This narrowing eventually can cause a heart attack.”

Coronary artery disease (CAD) Causes & Risk Factors

To protect your heart and help prevent coronary artery disease, Dr. Shah says the first step is being aware of your risk factors. According to the American Heart Association, these include: