If you’re feeling the winter chill at the moment, make sure you take that chest pain seriously – it turns out that the rate of myocardial infarction is higher during the colder months, as per the latest from the BMJ.
For every 1 degree drop in temperature, the risk of myocardial infarction over the following month went up by 2%, usually within the first 2 weeks. Going up in temperature didn’t have the same effect. Adults from 75-84 (but interestingly, not over 85) and those with previous ischaemic heart disease were particularly vulnerable – keep an eye out for them when the winter hits hard.
So, why doth the cold heart infarct? The authors run through multiple theories, including increased arterial pressure, viscosity, inflammatory states – and of course, our activities change when it’s cold.