Public Service Announcement - Healthy Hearts Never Take a Holiday
Monday, November 19, 2007
Lourdes Cardiologist Offers Tips
If you are trying to maintain or improve your cardiac health, the period from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day can be challenging. In fact, research has shown that heart attacks and cardiac deaths increase around the holiday season. While stress and bad eating habits might aggravate existing problems, studies found that the most significant contributing factor was that people delay getting medical care during the holidays.
"Even if it's New Year's Eve and you're having a great time, chest pain is chest pain and should be given the same attention as at any other time," said Ronald Cohen, D.O., an interventional cardiologist on staff at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center.
Whether you suffer from a cardiac-related condition or not, extra-rich foods, increased alcohol consumption, family stress and cold weather can all have negative health consequences. Dr. Cohen offers these heart healthy tips to cope with the holiday season:
- It's easy to overindulge during the holidays. Make sure to watch portion sizes and select one or two of your favorites from the host of tempting foods. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
- Be active and keep moving. Don't make food and drink the focal point of all your activities. Plan a special hike with the family on a day when you are all together. Even just a walk around the block after dinner can help to burn off the extra calories as well as get you away from the food for a while
- Cold weather can increase heart disease risks. If you suffer from a cardiac condition, check with your doctors before shoveling snow or other strenuous outdoor activity.
- Watch your symptoms. Some heart attack symptoms are similar to those of indigestion, another seasonal risk, and many people would rather blame their discomfort on gluttony than interrupt a party by dashing off to the ER. Play it smart and don't shrug it off. If you have pain that doesn't go away, seek medical attention.
- Get plenty of sleep. Too little sleep, coupled with extra stress can lead to a rise in high blood pressure and other problems.
Dr. Cohen is available for interview to discuss cardiac health during the holidays. Call the Public Relations Office to arrange an interview.