-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
SUNDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- As temperatures fall during
the winter months, the risk for heart attacks rises for people with
heart conditions and those engaging in rigorous physical
"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 heart conditions and those involved in strenuous exercise at greater risk of having a heart attack."
Many people are unaware of the dangers that low temperatures and
winter storms 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
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 exercise program.
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more
heart attack prevention.
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