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Study reveals increased risk of heart attacks at Christmas
Christmas is the Celebration of Love. As beautiful as the holidays are, for many people they are also associated with emotional stress, a lot of nutritious food and increased alcohol consumption. A Swedish research team analyzed heart attacks from 15 years ago and found that most heart attacks occur at Christmas. According to the researchers, the risk of a heart attack at Christmas should increase by 37 percent.
Swedish researchers from Lund University examined 283,000 heart attacks that occurred in Sweden from 1998 to 2013. According to the study team, an average of 50 heart attacks occur every day in Sweden. At Christmas, however, this number rose to 69 cases. That is an increase of 37 percent. The study results were recently published in the specialist journal "The BMJ".
Increased risk of heart attack on the holidays
As the researchers report, the risk of a heart attack is highest on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day. Here the danger increases by an average of 37 percent. The team also saw an increase of 22 percent on the second day of Christmas. It was also shown that there is a 20 percent higher risk on New Year's Day.
Eat, drink and emotional stress
"The main results of our study were that traditional holidays are associated with an increased risk of heart attack," reports Dr. David Erlinge from Lund University opposite The Telegraph. The cardiologist believes that the way we celebrate this festival is the cause of the increased number of heart attacks.
Caution on Christmas Eve
According to Erlinge, there is an opposite trend on Christmas Eve compared to the rest of the year. The risk of a heart attack is usually the highest in the morning. On Christmas Eve, this trend was exactly the opposite. Most of the infarctions take place here in the evening. The cardiologist sees hearty eating and the generally increased stress during the day as the cause.
Christmas is also the feast of emotions
Dr. Erlinge also points out that many people are more emotional at Christmas. Anger, grief, fear and stress can spread quickly. Excessive food intake and alcohol would then be added to this emotional stress.
Cardiac sufferers should take Christmas easy
"People have to be aware of the increased cardiovascular risk," emphasizes the expert. He advises to take good care of sick friends and relatives during this time. Furthermore, elderly and heart-sick people should avoid unnecessary stress and excessive eating and drinking. (vb)