You have to take care of your heart health during winter, but does cold weather lead to more heart problems? Let’s find out.
Social media misinformation is rampant no matter what the subject is – and some may even affect your heart health. For example, researchers have warned that cold weather may lead to an increase in blood clots and heart attacks.
However, some social media users have promoted their doubts about this connection and labeled this warning as “fake news.” In fact, some of these misinformation campaigns on social media have generated thousands of likes before being deleted.
Nevertheless, experts explain that cold weather does in fact have a connection to heart risks and blood clots. The following article covers how the two are linked and how to keep yourself safe this cold winter season.
Cold Weather, Heart Attacks, and Blood Clots
While cold weather doesn’t directly cause heart attacks, there is a connection between cold temperatures and increased risks, says Dr. Michael Cullen, a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic. “Attacks are usually caused by multiple different factors that usually include patients that have risk factors for diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure, [and] previous documented coronary artery disease,” says Cullen.
In a 2018 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers explain the connection. Their results show that “low air temperature, low atmospheric air pressure, high wind velocity and shorter sunshine duration” are linked with heart attacks.
Furthermore, Dr. Samit Shah, an interventional cardiologist at Yale Medicine, explains that cold air limits the body’s oxygen intake. “[When] somebody already has a problem where they’re not getting enough blood flow to their brain or to their heart because of a blockage in a blood vessel, now they might be getting even less oxygen there,” says Shah.
Moreover, Cullen explains that blood vessels constrict when inhaling cold air, leading to that oxygen intake reduction. Cold weather may also reduce blood flow and oxygen delivery due to the arteries constricting, increasing your cardiac distress risk.
In addition to these effects, people will have lifestyle changes that increase heart disease risk. People tend to be more sedentary during the winter months and drastic changes can lead to heart attacks.
For instance, if you go from exerting low levels of energy to exerting high levels when shoveling snow, this can put stress on your heart, leading to blood clots and a heart attack. “People with high blood pressure are more likely to stay inside and eat food that has more salt, same with high cholesterol, and so risk factors are kind of less controlled in the winter months and that’s known,” says Shah.
According to the research, there is definitely an association between heart attacks, blood clots, and cold weather. As the temperature drops, you may deal with a variety of physical and lifestyle changes that affect your health.
If you want to give your heart health an extra boost during these winter months, take L-arginine Plus. It is an effective daily supplement that promotes your circulation, blood pressure, cholesterol, and more.
Take care of your health this winter by staying warm, not putting stress on your heart, and taking L-arginine Plus.