Doctors have long believed that more heart attacks happen during the winter than in any other season, although the evidence of this seasonal trend was largely anecdotal. Researchers called this the “Christmas coronary.”
A recent study done by the National Registry of Myocardial Infarction confirms this suspicion. The study tracked more than 250,000 heart attack cases and found that 53 percent more heart attacks occurred in the winter than in the summer. The most heart attacks were recorded in winter, followed by fall, then spring and finally summer.
Doctors believe the cold is the main factor, as it can raise blood pressure and put stress on the heart. But other research suggests there is more to it than just temperature because in warm states there is a 36 percent increase in heart attacks during the winter. Researchers are still not sure why this is, although they suspect it is related to a rise in flu and seasonal depression, as well as changes in people’s diet and exercise habits during the winter season.
Don’t let the winter cold harm you. Reduce your risk of a heart attack by eating right, exercising regularly and properly preparing for cold weather.