Several factors such as a drop in body temperature, decreased level of vitamin D in the body and an increase of blood viscosity may heighten the risk of cardio-vascular diseases during the winter season, an expert said on Tuesday.
Besides a sudden dip in temperature during winter, high winds and rain often reduce body temperature, due to which there is a sudden spike in the blood pressure leading to a heart attack. The fall in body temperature in winter may increase blood viscosity which increases the risk of clot formation.
“Individuals above the age of 40 are at a higher risk of heart attacks. There are a number of factors which may trigger a heart attack during winter, starting from hypertension to obesity. Increasing cholesterol levels, diabetes or excessive smoking may put you on the radar,” said Prithwiraj Bhattacharya, Associate Consultant Cardiologist, Fortis Hospital, Anandapur.
Scarce sunlight during winter may decrease levels of Vitamin D in the body. There are a number of physiological mechanisms triggered by vitamin D production through sunlight exposure that fight heart disease. An imbalance in any of these puts the heart in danger.
Bhattacharya also said there is a rise in blood pressure during early morning which further leads to a heart attack.
“Blood viscosity increases in winter that leads to heart attack for a person having higher blood pressure. A heart attack does not always come with warning signs. Though there aren’t any remedies as such, it is highly important to get a regular health check up during winters. Blood glucose and cholesterol levels should be taken care of. Also avoid binge drinking and junk food consumption as much as you can,” he added.