Study: Heart Attacks increase this time of year

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The holidays are a wonderful time of the year for many of us, but the stress and overindulgence could catch up with you if don’t watch out. Studies indicate heart attacks increase during the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s more than any other time of the year.

The onset of cold weather, increased depression and emotional stress, overindulgence of fatty foods and alcohol are some of the factors that may trigger a heart attack in those with pre-existing conditions.

Studies also show that December is the deadliest month of the year for heart attacks because many delay in seeking medical attention because they don’t want to spoil the holiday. But doctors advise you to watch your stress and pay attention to your body.

“Chest discomfort, shortness of breath, fatigue, even nausea and sweets can be a sign of a heart attack, you need to pay attention to those,” said St. Vincent Cardiologist Dr. Charles Orr. “It’s really better to ruin this holiday because that might mean you’ll be around to see the next one.”

Laurie Johnson of Indianapolis knows all too well about giving up plans for her health. She suffered a heart attack two months ago when she was on her way for an evening out.

“My husband and I were getting ready to go to a movie. I put my coat on and suddenly I had all this chest pain.”

The pain got worse, so Laurie and her husband ditched the movie and drove to the hospital. She was treated and is on the road to recovery.

Johnson said her doctors told her if she had delayed getting treatment, she might have died. She hopes people this holiday season don’t ignore the symptoms and get help right away.

“What’s more important here? I’d like to be here for next Christmas too, so take care of yourself.”

Time is crucial when having a heart attack. A delay of just few minutes can make all the difference between living with a healthy heart, living with a damaged heart or dying.