Lifestyle & Belief

Winter is bad for heart health, study says


A new study reaffirmed that winter months are hard on the heart.


Spencer Platt

Winter is bad for the heart say doctors in a timely new study.

Researchers at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles found that people were significantly more likely to die from a heart-related illness during the winter months.

The study found that whether people lived in a hot or cold climate, winter still posed a higher risk for heart attacks and other cardiovascular events between 25 percent and 30 percent.

To find the data researchers looked at three years of death certificates from three states both warm and cold during winter.

Though one might suspect the spike in deaths is due to cold weather, researchers say they found no such link.

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"We confirmed findings of previous studies that found that heart deaths peak in winter. But there was no link to the cold," said study researcher Bryan Schwartz, according to WebMD.

Indeed, previous studies have shown links between cold weather and heart issues, yet this study appears to have contradicted that notion.

"We found this to be surprising,” said Schwartz at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association, reported PostMedia News.

“We thought colder climates with a colder winter might have a higher increase in the wintertime or a prolonged increase in the wintertime, but that’s not what we found.”

The reasons for the increased rate is still speculation but include the risk of catching the flu, which could lead to heart issues in elderly people, said the Globe and Mail.

They also include the effects of seasonal affective disorder, overeating and shoveling snow.