Local doctors not surprised by study linking cold temperatures to heart attacks

A report in a peer-reviewed cardiology journal looked at data from almost 300,000 heart attack patients over 16 years.

The data shows heart attacks tend to increase as temperatures cool.

Sampoornima Setty, M.D., an interventional cardiologist with Gundersen Health System, said that in their personal experience they have seen the same when La Crosse gets cold.

“Your heart has to beat faster and harder to keep your body warm when you’re exposed to the cold weather; that’s one. And the second part of it is when there is cold weather outside, all your blood vessels kind of clamp down, they constrict, to maintain your body heat,” said Setty.

Setty said caffeine and nicotine consumption can make symptoms worse.

She said those with a known heart condition should keep warm by ‘layering up’, covering their head and keeping their house warm.

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