Heart attack risk peaks around Christmas Eve

A new study has found that Christmas Eve is one of the most dangerous times of the year for your heart. According to researchers at the Lund University, a person’s risk for heart attack reaches its peak when the clock strikes 10 p.m. on December 24.

“The peak is very pronounced exactly on Christmas Eve and the following two days, so, I think it is something specific for the way we celebrate these holidays,” Fox News quoted David Erling’s, a researcher, as saying. The findings of this study are published in the Journal Medical.

Researchers analysed 238,000 heart attacks between 1998 and 2013. While researchers found that an average of 50 heart attacks occurred per day, the number spiked to 69 on Christmas Eve, with incidents typically occurring around 10 p.m.

As Christmas Eve is a time to cheer, people consume excessive food, alcohol, and also travel long distances, which may up the risk of heart attack. Emotional distress with acute experience of anger, anxiety, sadness, grief, and stress, too, increases the risk of a heart attack.

The risk was also heightened on New Year’s Eve and at 8 a.m., with the highest risk found in people over 75 years of age and those with existing heart conditions or diabetes. The authors noted that their findings were observational, but said it proves the need for awareness.

First Published: Dec 24, 2018 15:37 IST

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