Deadliest Day of the Year


According to the American Heart Association, Christmas or December 25th is the date with the highest number of heart attacks.  The second deadliest day is the day after, December
26th, followed closely in third place by January 1st.  What cardiologist suspected for years has now been confirmed by this study.  The researchers found that the 30-day mortality rate was significantly greater in patients admitted during the month of December, even though the care they received was of equally high quality in December, as compared with any other month.

Unfortunately, they have not been able to determine the specifics why December is the most deadly.  Many hypothesize certain behaviors and outside influences can have an impact, but nothing has been truly identified as a source or a contributing factor.  Nonetheless, taking prudent actions during this holiday season can improve your risk.  Consider the following suggestions.

Overeating and Drinking
Our consumption of higher fatty foods, increased levels of alcohol and salt to our diet, can put extra stress upon your digestive and heart systems.  Enjoy these foods in moderation and try to balance your diet.

Cold weather is extremely hard on the heart.  It increases blood pressure because of the constricting of the blood vessels due to the cold.  Also blood clots more readily in cooler temperatures.  All this puts additional stress on your heart.  Try and avoid too much physical exertion or strenuous exercise in any cold environment.

Pressure Deadlines
The extra pressure of work deadlines as well as shopping adventures for gifts can increase the stress to the body.  Again moderation and some type of balancing of these activities will help alleviate or reduce your stress levels.

When traveling to friends and relatives do not forget to pack your medications.  This happens more times than not and people will generally go without their medication for several days.  Make sure to pack all medications as well as your physician’s phone number if you need him to call in an urgent RX for you when you are out of town.

Patients with symptoms of a heart attack in December are prone to try just wishing the symptoms away, or attributing them to some other cause since, how can it be a heart attack?
It’s the Holiday’s! Such willful ignoring of the symptoms goes on until the symptoms simply can be no longer ignored. By that time, patients arrive in the hospital much later during the course of their heart attacks than they would at other times of the year.

Just because it is the holidays do not think you are immune to a heart attack.  If you have the symptoms get help immediately!

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