Study Shows Cold Weather Can Lead to Heart Attacks

Media Resources

Bob Hallinan

Executive Producer

Office: (913) 588-7284

Cell: (913)-481-7329

Email

newsmedia@kumc.edu

        Cardiologists have often noted that more people have heart attacks when the weather is cold, and now there’s scientific proof. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association concludes that cold weather can indeed raise the risk of heart attack.

            The study confirms what Dr. Brian Weiford and his fellow cardiologists at The University of Kansas Health System have seen in their practice for many years. In the video, Dr. Weiford says the cold weather can put stress on our bodies such as narrowing of blood vessels, which can raise blood pressure and stress the heart. Cold air in the lungs and on the skin could cause the body stress and cause inflammation, which can also contribute to a heart attack. He says any of these situations would definitely raise the risk of heart attack in patients who already have risk factors. He also says shoveling large amounts of snow when a person is not used to engaging in strenuous physical activity is a big problem. He also says a lack of sunshine, not just the cold, can increase heart attack risk. He demonstrates using a model of the heart how the cold weather problems can happen, and he has advice for helping avoid cold weather heart attacks.

            The video also shows someone shoveling snow.