AUSTIN (KXAN) — We all know the holiday season brings with it joy, cheer and good will. We’ve seen the movies, we’ve heard the songs. But what might not be immediately recognizable is the stress that also comes this time of year.
New research shows you are more likely to suffer a heart attack during the holidays because of all the stress that can build up.
Cardiologist with St. David’s Medical Center Dr. Ramez Nairooz lays out some ways to watch your heart health over the holidays.
“Holiday heart syndrome was coined back in 1978 to describe the dramatic increase in patients going to the emergency room complaining of irregular heart rhythms during the holidays,” said Nairooz.
Nairooz explained that cold temperatures, besides being stressful, can cause chest pain in people who have been diagnosed with a coronary heart disease. This is called angina pectoris.
“Eating a healthier diet, increasing physical activity, quitting smoking, and managing stress—in addition to taking prescribed medicines—can help improve your heart health and quality of life,” said Nairooz.
Here are some of the symptoms Nairooz says are early warning signs of a stroke or heart attack:
- Chest pain
- Chest discomfort
- Feeling weak
- Pain in the back neck or jaw
- Pain in one or both arms or shoulders
- Shortness of breath