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Holidays and Heart Attacks

Help with Heart Disease | Johns Creek Family Medicine

Make sure you know the early symptoms before a heart attack.

The most joyous time of year can be the deadliest for people who are prone to or have heart disease. While the jury is still out on why exactly heart attacks spike in December and January, the research proves that there are more cardiac deaths during these months.

At first, researchers attributed the rise to colder weather, but the spike occurs nationwide and yearly including temperate climates and years that have been unseasonably warm. Additionally, the days that they see the highest rate of heart attacks are December 25, 26, and January 1 respectively. With such specific evidence, researchers have compiled lists of the most likely suspects including over indulgence, change in routine, emotional stress, and physical stress.

For people with heart disease, eating even one heavy meal can cause a heart attack within a day. Large meals and food high in fat and salt cause blood pressure to increase and can raise insulin both of which negatively impact and cause stress on the heart. Furthermore, a change in routine can have deadly consequences. Preoccupied with the holidays people tend to put healthy habits on hold, skip medication, and may postpone health care. Emotional stress and physical stress are always triggers, but for some the holidays cause an increase in both with traveling, hosting, or taking on more than usual.

Have a happy holiday without the heart attack, and take some precautions this season. Eat a fantastic meal, but remember to moderate portions and salt intake. Keep up exercise, take medication, and most importantly don’t ignore your body’s warning signs. Try not to take on more than you can handle and avoid stressful gatherings. Remember to enjoy the season and relax!

If you have questions and need help regarding your heart condition, visit Dr. Charkawi at Johns Creek Family Medicine which is located in Johns Creek near the McGinnis Ferry Road and Peachtree Parkway (Highway 141) intersections, directly opposite Emory Johns Creek Hospital on Hospital Parkway. Johns Creek Family Medicine serves patients from North Fulton, South Forsyth, and Gwinnett counties and the surrounding North Atlanta areas such as Suwanee, Roswell, Alpharetta, Duluth, Dawsonville, Canton, and Johns Creek.

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