Winter has been surprisingly mild in some parts of the country, but even though we haven’t seen as much snow as we’re accustomed to, there are risks associated with the cold weather. It’s important to know how the cold weather affects your heart, especially if you suffer from cardiovascular disease.
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What Happens To Your Heart During Cold Temperatures?
When the temperature drops, you may not realize it, but your heart actually has to work harder. According to the American Heart Association, heart failure causes most deaths from hypothermia. This is a dangerous condition where your body temperature falls below normal.
Your heart pumps blood through your arteries to organs and tissues throughout your body. When the temperature drops, your heart has to work harder to help maintain your body’s core temperature. Even walking through heavy snow and shoveling snow can increase your risk for a heart attack. High winds, snow and rain can also steal body heat. This is why you have to pay close attention to the weather because even though it may be 30 degrees outside, if there are 30 mile per hour wind gusts, the cooling effect is equal to just 15 degrees. This causes your body to lose heat faster than in drier conditions.