Severe cold can affect the heart; see how to reduce the risks of vasoconstriction | Health

Just like our body, the heart also feels cold and can be affected by the drop in temperature. The cold can increase by 30% the risk of heart attack and stroke, according to the Brazilian Society of Cardiology.

But these risks aren’t related to just any chill (or for anyone). Patients with chronic diseases, with a predisposition to heart problems and people over 65 years old form the highest risk group.

“There is a magic number around 15ºC. Below 15ºC this risk arises. However, the cold alone does not cause heart attack and stroke in anyone. It increases the risk in predisposed people [hipertensos, diabéticos, colesterol alto, pessoas que já infartaram ou tiveram AVC]”, warns Carlos Rassi, a cardiologist at Hospital Sírio-Libanês, in Brasília.

and why this happens? There are two main reasons:

  • increased incidence of respiratory infections and
  • because of the decrease in the caliber of the veins (vasoconstriction) to keep the body warm.

THE vasoconstriction is a normal mechanism for heating the body. This spasm of the arteries can contribute to the rupture of plaques and cause the veins to clog. Already the infection inflames the body and this inflammation can reach the arteries.

Risks of heart attack and stroke increase by 30% in winter

Risks of heart attack and stroke increase by 30% in winter

Taking care of the heart in the cold

It doesn’t matter if it’s cold or hot, we must maintain healthy habits in all seasons and temperatures.

“It’s not because we’re in winter that we’re going to stop exercising, or we’re going to eat poorly. It’s necessary to maintain a healthier diet, physical activity and health care,” says Rassi.

The cardiologist also reinforces that it is very important not to smoke (one of the main causes of heart attack), drink water and control cholesterol, diabetes and pressure.

“In extreme temperatures, also avoid thermal shock. It is important to keep the body temperature stable to avoid the vasoconstriction reaction, keep the extremities of the body warm“, complete.

  • Is it better to sleep with or without socks?

The main risk factors for heart attack

Certain factors increase a person’s risk of having a heart attack. Are they:

  • smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Cholesterol
  • Hypertension
  • overweight
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Family history
  • Stress

“The two main factors are smoking and diabetes. The person needs to stop smoking and treat diabetes. You also need to control cholesterol, take care of blood pressure, stay active throughout your life and not just on weekends”, warns the cardiologist.

How to identify a heart attack

The main symptoms of a heart attack are:

  • Chest pain
  • Pain elsewhere in the body — it may feel like the pain is spreading from the chest to the arms (usually the left arm is affected, but it can affect both arms), jaw, neck, back, and abdomen
  • dizziness and anxiety
  • Shortness of breathe
  • Sweating
  • Nausea and stomach pain

The main recommendation is to look for the nearest hospital. Speed ​​is critical to patient survival. When in doubt about the symptoms, it is best to see a doctor.

VIDEO: cardiologist talks about the risk of heart attack in winter:

Roberto Kalil talks about increased risk of heart attack in winter

Roberto Kalil talks about increased risk of heart attack in winter

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