Cold Hearts

By: Katie Sabatino
By: Katie Sabatino

The winter is quickly approaching, and that means cold days and even colder nights. As the thermometer drops, the heart feels the change.

"This was what we call an epidemiologic study so what they've done is actually looked at a population group and saw was happened and matched it with temperature changes," says local cardiologist Dr. David Avington.

A study by the American Heart Association surveyed 300 patients in Israel and found that those with existing heart conditions were more likely to experience acute heart failure during cold snaps.

It's a theory that makes sense to area doctors.

"I think perhaps there is an increase in blood pressure with colder weather. You do tend to tense up and that may increase blood pressure which may then put increased strain on the heart," says Dr. Avington.

Another study shows that the rare heart condition of aortic dissection may also be linked to colder climates. In every country including the United States, the incidence of this condition peaked in the winter, but despite the research, Dr. Avington is not completely convinced.

"It certainly makes sense that this type of thing could occur, but what we found in particularly in the last few years in medicine is things that we though made sense may not actually be accurate."

And it is for that reason that more research still needs to be done.


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