The risk of heart conditions goes up during holiday season every year. It is a matter of serious concern. It’s mainly because people get overindulged in high calorie consumption through unhealthy food and lifestyle practices without burning it away. Though it’s true that men are prone to heart disease than pre-menopausal women, women aged 55 and over have almost the same risk as men do. That brings our attention toward the significance of heart and cardiovascular care for men and women alike.

Several reports reveal how the likelihoods of stroke and heart attack increase during the holiday season from November through January, particularly on major festive days such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Women aged 55 and over have almost the same risk as men do; it is therefore critical that women take steps to reduce this risk.


This growing problem has worried medical practitioners, researchers and governments around the world. They feel that there are several factors and reasons contributing to holiday heart attacks or strokes. One of the main reasons is the colder climate/weather during this period.


Why Do Holiday Heart Attacks Take Place?

Medical researchers have clearly marked a deadly rise in the instances of heart attack. According to expert nos, there are specific risk factors for coronary artery diseases. Such as diabetes, smoking, hypertension and lack of exercise along with advancing age.

There are many other factors and contraindications can be considered a trigger for cardiovascular ailments such as winter and food with excessive fat content.

Colder climate is tougher on heart health since our blood pressure increases, leading to the constricting of blood vessels. Clotting is also a risk at this time of the year.

The strain on the heart goes up due to cold temperature and excessive physical activity may lead to heart attacks.

Studies Reveal Higher Chances of Heart Attacks on Festive Days

Several studies clearly indicate how deaths due to cardiac attacks are the highest on the December 25 and 26.  January 1 or the New Years Day is also on the list. Latest research coming from Sweden indicates that the chances of heart attacks go up by a huge 40% on Christmas Eve.

Dr. David Erlinge, the head of the office of cardiology at Skane University Hospital, Lund, is the senior author for this study. He has opined that conventional holidays are closely linked to higher heart attack risks.

He found that the risks were more by 15% during Christmas-New Year as compared to other days in December. The study has covered 300,000 patients of heart attacks in 5 years and concluded that risks are highest on Christmas Eve at 10 PM. Heart attack risk increases by 20% on New Year’s Day as per the study.

What are the Reasons behind Holiday Heart Attacks?

People often delay treatment since they do not wish to interrupt the festivities and special plans for the holiday season. However, delaying medical treatment is a mistake most people aren’t aware of.

People usually find it hard to get medical care instantly on holidays, particularly since healthcare centers remain short on staff during this period.

Overindulgence in alcohol, smoking, food and even emotional and mental stress may also trigger holiday heart attacks. Anxiety, concern, sadness, emotional fluctuations and anger may increase heart attack risks during the holiday period.

Measures to be taken

Any problem with the heart is something that needs to be taken care of immediately. In any case, you should not ignore any signs of a heart attack, and take these preventive steps below: 

  • Wear layers and keep yourself warm
  • Seek consultation for frequent emotional fluctuations, anger
  • Avoid too much physical activity. But don’t stay idle.
  • Eat and drink moderately without overdoing
  • Take your medications on time, as directed by your physician
  • Get enough sleep and rest
  • Understand the symptoms of strokes and heart attack
  • Try to stay away from stress, anger, and emotional setbacks

The most important thing to remember here is that the holiday season is the time to renew your bonding with your family. Focus on enjoying this valuable time that you once every year. Keep all your fears, worries and thoughts about work life away.

How to Create a Good Heart Health Regimen

Visit a trusted healthcare provider to seek help, consultation, attention, care, and treatment for your health conditions. Seeing your doctors is desirable for a healthy life.

EPIC Health is the leading healthcare provider in Detroit, Ferndale and Southfield using a completely different model of care – focused on your needs providing a higher level of quality care and affordable service. If you or a loved one is suffering from heart conditions, it is time to give them the right heart and cardiovascular care. Our experts are just a call away. You can reach us at 313-861-4400 in Ferndale and 248-336-4000 in Detroit.