Avoiding Holiday Heart Attacks - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/14/07

Avoiding Holiday Heart Attacks

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According to a study from Baylor Medical School, between now and January first more Americans will die from heart attacks than at any other time of year.  Researchers have found that there are 3 days in particular that are the mostly deadly during the holiday season:  Christmas Day, the day after Christmas, and New Year's Day.

Dr. Rafic Berbarie, a Cardiologist, says, "What we see is an increase in both heart related and non heartrelated deaths." One of Dr. Berbarie's theories is that the emotional stress of the season comes to a peak on those days and people have overbooked their schedules with obligations to family and friends.  To make things worse, people tend to treat stress with overindulgence.  Dr. Berbarie says a high fat feast can affect your heart within 30 minutes, "This does, for some reason, affect the artery linings of the heart arteries."

There are other factors that may increase the risk of heart trouble over the holidays:

  • Forgetting to take medication
  • Getting less exercise than usual
  • Ignoring heart attack symptoms because you don't want to bother family and friends during the holidays.

The bottom line is that the study says that, for many, staying healthy over the holidays may be as simple as using common sense, exercising self-control, knowing your limits and taking time to relax.

 

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