Cardiac patients be cautious in winters

HYDERABAD: The patients suffering cardiac problems must adopt precautionary measures and strictly follow the advice of their consultant physicians during winters as the period ranging from December to February is most alarming as far as heart attacks is concerned.

The heart has to work harder during winters because blood vessels constrict to help the body maintaining body heat while the respiratory diseases such as flu and asthma are on peak during the season, which causes burden on heart in carrying out its function smoothly because of high blood pressure.

Exchanging views with APP on Wednesday eminent Cardiologist Professor Dr. Akram Munir said that during winters, many of the patients tend to consume many things including alcohol in order to keep themselves warm, which also aggravates pressure on the heart.

He informed that high rates of influenza and other respiratory disease in winter also play major role in instigating heart attacks because infections causes inflammation. The Inflammation in turn, make plaque less stable and contribute to heart attacks, he added.

Dr. Akram Munir said that the role of inflammation in heart attack is reflected by blood levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation, which associated with an increased risk of heart attack.

Heart disease and stroke could be prevented if the main risk factors including high blood pressure, high level of cholesterol and blood glucose, tobacco use, inadequate intake of fruit and vegetables, overweight and obesity and physical inactivity could be reduced, he maintained.Dr. Akram Munir emphasized the need of maximum physical activities, which he said is vital for good heart health as lack of such activities could contribute to obesity, diabetes and hypertension.

The regular physical activities may help the patients to slow down narrowing of the arteries to the heart, he said adding that similarly, the brain encourages the body to use up excel store fat. It also reduce high blood pressure, improves good cholesterol level particularly HDL cholesterol and maintain normal glucose level, he said.

Strongly discouraging the tobacco intakes, Dr. Akram warned that it is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease adding that tobacco causes one fifth of cardiovascular disease worldwide.

The quitting smoking can reduces the level of blood clotting and decreases the chance of sudden blockages of blood vessels he informed and added that smoking could easily be left with the support of family members, friends and community.

He also advised medication of lowering blood Cholesterol level and a daily low dose of aspirin as it reduce the risk of the blood clots forming in the blood vessels, which cause stroke and heart attacks. A healthy diet also provides health benefits in different ways, Dr. Akram Munir said.