LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Playing it safe is the name of the game this holiday season, according to a Las Vegas doctor.
“We notice a small uptick in people getting heart attacks around Christmas season,” says Dr. Daliah Wachs.
Dr. Wachs says cold temperatures overall have long been tied to heart stress and less oxygen reaching vital organs.
“Sometimes the cold can exacerbate broncos spasm or them not being able to get a full deep breath, so being outside in the cold can effect your breathing,” says Dr. Wachs
There’s also the emotional stress of the holiday season including shopping, family time, and traveling which can all impact a person physically.
Dr. Wachs says a study found a five percent increase in heart attacks during the Christmas season.
That number doesn’t sound like much, but for a doctor it’s a red flag.
“This is the time you eat like garbage and so your sugar is going to go up, your cholesterol is going to go up your blood pressure is going to go up so that to me is very significant,” says Dr. Wachs.
It’s not just what you eat, but what you drink. Another stress on the heart is alcohol.
Dr. Wachs says there’s just more drinking over all during the holidays, which can increase a person’s blood pressure and can interfere with current medications.
“When you drink it can cause abnormal heart rhythms, it can also cause vasoconstriction and issues with the heart,” says Dr. Wachs.