LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The risk of a heart attack peaks on Christmas Eve due to emotional stress, according to a recent study.
Researchers in Sweden said the risk of suffering a heart attack is highest around 10 p.m. on Dec. 24.
"I can definitely see it happening. Everyone stresses about money, about getting that perfect gift and getting it under the tree," Las Vegas resident Andrea Ferguson said.
People often over-exert themselves around this time of the year - shoveling snow, dancing at family parties - and indulge in foods and drinks they may not normally consume, like excessive alcohol, caffeine and fat-rich foods, according to health experts.
A San Antonio psychiatrist also said that self-care is more important during the holidays, but many fail to stick to that healthy diet or remove themselves from conversations that can cause anger or anxiety.
Those older than 75-years-old who have a history of diabetes or heart disease were found to be at even more of a risk for a heart attack.
"I'm a diabetic. So, I have got to be careful, but Christmas is a lot of food and drinks. You turn off for the holiday and don't consider everything that you've considered for the 364 days around Christmas," Ilin Wilson said.
Experts recommend avoiding discussions about big issues during the holidays when emotions are already running high.