When temperatures fall, heart problems rise

News Connection

Individuals with heart conditions such as coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure should stay out of the cold.

SAN ANGELO, Texas — While exposure to the cold can be uncomfortable, doctors say that for some people it can be dangerous. Those with heart disease can experience health problems.

“The exposure to the cold may worsen their heart condition,” said Dr. Milan Leon, Interventional Cardiologist for the San Angelo Cardiovascular Center of Excellence.

According to doctors when temperatures drop, heart problems rise. Individuals with heart conditions such as coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure should stay out of the cold.

“Exposure to the cold can cause ischemia to the heart and this can cause angina,” explained Dr. Leon.

Ischemia is a restriction in blood supply to the heart. A sudden, severe blockage of one of the heart’s artery can lead to pain and even a heart attack.

“Exposure to the cold increases the demands of the heart for blood flow. These patients have a high risk of getting chest pains and shortness of breath with the exposure to the cold,” continued Dr. Leon.

Dr. Leon says those with heart conditions should also avoid streneous activity while out in the cold.

“That will increase the need for blood flow to the heart. Since they have heart disease, that will definitely deteriorate their conditio. In other states, people have experienced heart attacks while trying to clear their driveways, here we don’t have as much, but it is true,” added Dr. Leon.



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