Holiday heart attacks

By Elizabeth Temple - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) – The holiday season is not just filled with joy and laughter, excitement builds, hearts race and stress can boil over. Gift shopping turns to frustrating traffic jams and parties can knock your diet off course. Cardiologist at West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital Dr. Chris Thompson warns that excessive eating and drinking can do more than pack on extra holiday weight.

He sees an upsurge of patients with heart problems during the holiday season. Traveling and taking time-off from a regular work schedule can cause people to forget their daily medications for cholesterol control or high blood pressure, said Dr. Thompson.

"They may be eating on the road, which may not be great food. They may not be sleeping well, forget their medicines…the whole environment changes," said Thompson.

A study of death certificates published in Circulation spanning over 28 years discovered a five percent jump in heart related death during the holidays. Researchers found the highest number of heart-related deaths on Christmas Day, December 25th, the second highest on Boxing Day, December 26th, and the third highest on News Years Day.

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