Srinagar: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Wednesday said shovelling snow increases the risk of having a heart attack.
“Lifting snow is incredibly taxing on the heart and can trigger a fatal heart attack,” said DAK President Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a statement.
“A 2017 study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal revealed snow shovelling to heighten the risk of having a heart attack. Shovelling was found to raise the risk of heart attack by 16 percent and death from a heart attack by 34 percent,” he said.
Nisar said snow shovelling causes a sudden increase in blood pressure and heart rate that puts more strain on the heart.
“Combine this with icy temperatures which cause arteries to constrict and decrease blood supply, you have a perfect storm for a heart attack,” he added.
People at greatest risk are those “who are habitually sedentary with known or suspected heart disease, who go out once a year to clear the snow,” he stated.
“I advise heart patients not to shovel snow at all.”
“Even people without cardiovascular issues have to be careful when they do it because heart attacks with snow shovelling were observed among people with no cardiovascular risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol,” cautioned Nisar.
He said methods such as using a small shovel that moves less snow, as well as pushing snow as opposed to lifting it may lead to less strain on the heart. “It is vital to pace yourself while shovelling, taking frequent breaks and to stay well hydrated at the same time.”
“Dressing in layers, use of gloves, socks and covering your head, neck and face will help,” the statement said.