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Cold weather may increase risk of heart attack

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Individuals living in cooler climates may want to seek a cholesterol test or other measures to determine their heart risk, as a new study from British researchers has found that lower outdoor temperatures are linked to an increased risk of heart attack.

Researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Disease used the data from 84,010 heart attacks that occurred in England and Wales between 2003 and 2006. They recorded the temperature of the day that each heart attack occurred.

They found that each one degree Celsius reduction in temperature in a single day resulted in an extra 200 heart attacks.

"Older people between the ages of 75 and 84 and those with previous coronary heart disease seemed to be more vulnerable to the effects of temperature reductions," said Krishnan Bhaskaran, who led the study. "Our results suggest that even in the summer, the risk is increased by temperature reductions."

He added that individuals may be able to reduce their risk for heart complications by taking simple steps like wearing heavier clothing and turning up home heat during cold weather.

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