How Can Cold Weather Cause Chest Pain?


Are you trying to get over Halloween festivities and start feeling snowflakes on your face? You might anticipate fun activities like holiday parties and the squealing of children playing around in the snow. Even with all signs pointing towards winter, are you aware that winter brings along a higher risk of cardiovascular problems?

Research indicates Americans are 30 percent more likely to report chest pain due to cold weather and also experience heart attacks in the months when winter severity increases significantly than in warmer months throughout the year. The winter months affect even people with good overall health making them vulnerable to the risks.

How Can Cold Weather Affect Your Chest and Circulatory System?

The cold weather affects your heart and chest in many ways. In response to the cold weather, your circulatory system undergoes physical changes. In addition, you might be more sedentary during winter, preferring to stay inside and relax by keeping warm. As a result, you might not get the exercise your body and heart need.

You might experience the following cold winter changes affecting your chest and heart.

  • Narrowing of Blood Vessels:Your blood vessels open to provide your body with the additional oxygen it needs, especially when you exercise or remain physically active. However, the blood vessels can shrink in the winter, making it challenging for the blood to reach your heart, causing cold weather chest tightness. The tightness is particularly concerning if plaque buildup is present in your blood vessels. As a result, the chances of your blood not reaching your heart and other parts of your body remain high and might result in a heart attack. In addition, research states that moving between the warmth inside your house and the freezing outdoors can increase plaque buildup and make it unstable, increasing your risk of heart attacks.
  • High Blood Pressure:Blood pressure indicates the pressure within your arteries. During winters, the narrowing of blood vessels requires your heart to work harder to move blood to different parts of your body. It ensures that the wintry weather contributes to increased blood pressure. If you experience a temporary increase in blood pressure with cold weather chest tightness, do not consider it a concern. Unfortunately, if you suffer from high blood pressure, it can result in blocked arteries increasing your risks of heart attack and stroke.
  • Higher Pulse Rate:Do you think your heart beats faster during winter? The cold weather can affect the heart because it must work harder to warm your body resulting in an increase in the pulse rate. A higher pulse rate is not a symptom of heart disease or heart attack but indicates that your heart needs rest because it is working too hard.
  • Winter Lifestyle Choices:What do you do when the temperature drops to minus 5° below zero? You probably snuggle in bed instead of taking a winter walk and indulge in high cholesterol foods, including more alcohol, in your everyday life. As moderation goes out of the window because the choices aren’t exactly heart-healthy, you experience changes in weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure, making you vulnerable to chest pain in winter or heart attacks requiring treatment from a 24-hour emergency room without delay.

Cold Weather a Recipe for Heart Attacks

When you change your lifestyle to the passive mode by limiting exercise, and increasing unhealthy foods and beverages, the increase in blood pressure, cholesterol, and the lack of exercise makes you vulnerable to getting affected by tightness in chest when least expected.

Your cardiovascular system doesn’t function optimally in cold weather. Therefore, it requires regular care to ensure you don’t strain your heart when indulging in activities that might contribute to chest pain.

If you don’t like your driveway covered in snow, you might think shoveling the snow might get you some exercise. However, if you don’t have information that it can increase your risk of a heart attack, you must realize the cold weather makes it challenging for your heart to pump more blood, and when your heart doesn’t get sufficient oxygen and nutrient-rich blood, your risks of a heart attack increase significantly. In addition, the unexpected chest tightness can send you rushing to the emergency room near me to determine what’s wrong with your chest, especially if you aren’t accustomed to shoveling snow.

You can always visit the ER near me for emergency visits if you experience symptoms of chest pain or tightness during the winter. However, you must ensure you keep yourself active during the winter months without adopting a sedentary lifestyle or indulging in an unhealthy diet to significantly increase your risk of cardiovascular attacks that are expensive to treat besides being fatal.

Express ERs provide 24-hour emergency services throughout the year, including the coldest winter months. If you experience any situations with your heart, please do not hesitate to contact this emergency facility for the treatment needed.

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