Risk of heart attack, stroke doubles in winter: DAK

SRINAGAR: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Friday said the number of heart attack and stroke patients at Kashmir hospitals doubles in winter.
“Winter brings more heart attacks and strokes than other times of the year,” said DAK President, Dr Nisar ul Hassan.
“Studies have shown that there are up to 53 percent more heart attacks in winter than in summer,” he said.
Quoting a paper published in European Journal of Epidemiology, Dr Nisar said cold weather increases the risk of stroke by 30 percent.
“Icy temperatures of winter constrict blood vessels that increase blood pressure which makes heart attack or stroke more likely,” he said, adding “blood tends to be thicker and becomes stickier during extreme cold which makes it easier to clot.”
Dr Nisar said flu of winter increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. “Flu causes acute and severe inflammation that builds up fat deposits in the inner walls of the blood vessels. These fat deposits dislodge and get stuck in heart or brain, where they block the blood flow.”
He added lack of sunlight during winter leaves people vitamin D-deficient which is associated with increased risk of dying from heart attack or stroke.
“While we can’t change the weather, we can take precautions to protect ourselves from health risks of cold weather. Keep yourself warm to prevent from cold temperature. If you move out, dress in layers, wear a hat, gloves and scarf. Avoid going out in chill for walk and move your workout inside. Get your annual flu shot and don’t forget to take your vitamin D,” advised Dr Nisar.

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