Heart Attacks increasing during the holidays is a scary thought but is it true? For years medical professionals have been baffled by an increase in heart attacks during the holiday season. According to a study performed by Tufts University School of Medicine, the increase is 5 percent more heart-related deaths during the holiday season.
Enberg’s wife, Barbara, confirmed her husband’s death to USA TODAY Sports on Thursday night. She told The San Diego Union-Tribune it appeared Enberg suffered a heart attack at their La Jolla, Calif., home as he prepared to fly from San Diego to Boston on Thursday morning.
For many years, researchers have been intrigued by a disturbing pattern: Deadly heart attacks increase during the winter holiday season. One study even found distinct spikes around Christmas and New Year’s Day.
What is Behind Holiday Heart Attacks?
Many of the heart-related events that come up this time of year are known as the “Happy Hanukkah Heart Attack” or the “Merry Christmas Coronary.”
What is behind the cardiovascular events that are happening this time of year? Researchers are aware that more people suffer heart attacks during cold weather when blood vessels are more constricted due to the weather. This does not seem to explain why more people have heart attacks during the holidays than other times of the winter months.
“But we’re also learning that there are certain triggers for cardiovascular events,” he adds, “including time of the year and seasons. If we can get a true handle on the seasonal variation, we could knock down death from coronary disease.”
A medical Journal called Circulation had some interesting suggestions regarding the reason heart attacks increase during this time of year. They stated that some individuals don’t want to interrupt the family gathering so they put off seeking medical attention.
The incidence of heart attacks goes up during the holidays due to such circumstances as cold weather. Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of “The Dr. Oz Show” (and a heart surgeon) joins Megyn Kelly TODAY with health advice, cautioning against shoveling snow if you haven’t been exercising regularly. He also says to enjoy your meals … but fill half your plate with vegetables! Read more…
Another factor they believe comes into play is that people overindulge during this time of year and that there can be a lot of emotional stress. Sounds like the perfect storm for a cardiovascular event.
While researchers don’t know exactly why heart attacks are more common around holidays, they note a number of possible reasons, including changes in diet and alcohol consumption during the holidays; stress from family interactions, strained finances, travel and entertaining; respiratory problems from burning wood; and not paying attention to the signs and symptoms of a heart attack.
Stop the Holiday Heart Attacks!
What is the solution? Of course, it seems quite simple. Don’t overindulge, seek medical attention if you are experiencing symptoms of cardiovascular problems and seek time to de-stress. We must realize that cardiovascular events develop over time. It is not a disease that happens suddenly.
For the majority of people, it is a disease that is self-inflicted. The best solution is prevention and taking responsibility for our health. As for me, I’ll be drinking my Cardio Cocktail!!!