Heart attacks more likely at Christmas

Heart attacks more likely at Christmas

Wellbeing
Holiday stress can lead to a heart attack.

Holiday stress can lead to a heart attack.

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Christmas is a stressful time of year - and it's hurting our hearts.

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LAST minute present wrapping, kitchen prepping and fretting over family gatherings the following day – Christmas Eve is a stressful night.

It’s also the time the risk of having a heart attack peaks, according to a new, observational study.

Researchers from Sweden’s Lund University analysed the exact timing of the heart attacks reporting to the Swedish coronary care unit registry over a 16 year period from 1998 to 2013.

They found the risk of heart attack peaks at around 10pm on Christmas Eve, particularly those over 75 or with pre-existing heart problems, most likely due to heightened emotional stress.

The risk was also higher during New Years’ and Midsummer holidays, and on Monday mornings around 8am, but not during Easter holiday or major sport events.

The results were published in the Christmas issue of The BMJ.

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