By Christian Wilde,
The medical profession is well aware that heart attacks do indeed increase in number during the holidays and winter seasons. One major study analyzing heart attacks among 138,602 people recorded a 35% higher number of heart attacks in December and January compared to August of a given year. We would all agree of course–no time of year is a good time for a heart attack!
Triglycerides: Medical researchers have identified one of the contributing factors that can increase certain people’s risk during such times. The phenomena known as triglyceride spiking occurs when triglycerides suddenly rise to dangerous levels. This heightened risk can happen after eating a single fat meal such as we might enjoy at festive dinners during Thanksgiving Christmas or New Years. This innocent event can literally provide a direct pathway to a heart attack within 2 to 26 hours following the single high fat meal. Triglycerides are the fats that circulate in the blood and those individuals (particularly diabetics) who are already fighting higher levels are at greater risk. The advice of the researcher is––those at particular risk may help minimize their risk by simply taking 800 mgs of Vitamin E in combination with 1000 mgs of vitamin C –– prior to consuming the rich holiday dinner. According to the study, this combination can dramatically control the “spiking.” More emphasis has in the past few years been increasingly directed at controlling triglyceride level. Dr. Michael Miller M.D., Ph.D., and team at the University of Maryland determined that any triglyceride level over 100 increased one’s heart attack risk three fold. According to the findings the increase isn’t like cholesterol where the higher the number the greater the risk. With triglycerides, any number over one hundred produced the greater risk. These findings influenced the medical profession to change the nationally accepted guidelines for triglyceride levels.
Tempers and the Holidays: Another perhaps less obvious reason for holiday heart attacks lies among unresolved resentments, sibling rivalries and a whole host of other emotionally charged situations that often rear themselves when families get together. Tempers explode and blood pressures rise. When someone “loses it” statistics show a two and a third time increased risk of a heart attack within the immediate hours following the incident. Here are a few reasons why: Under high stress as one might experience during a bout of anger the coronary arteries constrict resulting in a subsequent “arterial spasm.” Fatty cholesterol deposits within the artery becomes welded together closing off the artery initiating a heart attack. When one is in a state of anger, blood becomes viscous and adrenalin and other toxins are released into the bloodstream. In the book how to detect and neutralize Hidden Causes of Heart Attack and Stroke: (inflammation, cardiology’s newest frontier) two case histories representing the endpoint of extreme anger are presented along with many other hidden risk factors and information on how to neutralize them.
“Weekend Warriors”It isn’t difficult to get dad involved in a traditional game of touch football or hoops after Thanksgiving or another holiday dinner. “What say we work off a few of those extra helpings we just ate?” Is this a good idea if your dad or yourself have not been regularly involved in regular physical conditioning? A study involving 1800 participants sponsored by the Institutes of Health looking at the heart attack risk from physical exertion found a 5.9 times (600%) greater heart attack risk within one hour of an actual innocent exertion. You could extrapolate from this study that someone out of condition, pushing a stalled automobile out of traffic or having to shovel snow or being pushed to the limit in a friendly game of after-holiday-dinner football could unconsciously be putting himself or herself at great risk. We have just read of three of the reasons heart attacks increase during the winter months and about certain simple life-protecting precautions we might keep in mind to help safe-guard ourselves and our families from America’s number one killer. The good news is that heart disease is now considered to be 90% preventable. Let’s all apply a little common sense and favorably affect the number of heart attacks this holiday season.