Heart attack risk can increase while shoveling snow

Snow shoveling can put a strain on anyone’s heart, but people with health conditions or those who don’t exercise regularly are especially at risk for a heart attack.

During the winter months, many people spend their snowy mornings shoveling sidewalks and driveways.

But could this activity have dangerous consequences for your health? Some Everybody above social media warns that shoveling snow can increase the risk of a heart attack.

QUESTION

Can snow shovels increase heart attack risk?

SOURCES

ANSWER

This is the truth.

Yes, shoveling snow can increase the risk of a heart attack. People with underlying health conditions and those who don’t exercise regularly are at a higher risk of heart attack while shoveling dirt, health experts say.

WHAT WE FIND

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), shoveling snow is one of those strenuous physical activities that can put extra strain on a person’s heart, increasing the risk of a heart attack or sudden cardiac arrest.

“Many scientific studies over the years have identified the dangers of snow shoveling for people with and without pre-existing heart disease,” the AHA said.

Both the effort of shoveling and the conditions in which you shovel can be hard on your heart, say the Cleveland Clinic and other experts.

Cardiologist Marc Samsky, MD, tells VERIFY: “The sudden increase in blood pressure and heart rate puts a lot of strain on your heart. “That’s combined with cold air, which can also cause your blood vessels to constrict and raise your blood pressure, while also increasing stress on your heart.”

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While shoveling snow can put an extra strain on anyone’s heart, the risk of a heart attack is higher for people with certain health conditions and other risk factors.

They include people with existing heart disease, people with high blood pressure or high cholesterol, people who are obese or have other cardiovascular risks such as a sedentary lifestyle, people with diabetes, people who are or former smokers and former smokers. a heart attack or stroke.

Dr. Barry Franklin, a member of the AHA and an expert on the science behind the cardiovascular risks of snow shoveling, said people with these conditions and risk factors, along with those who have had surgery, bypass or angioplasty, do not shovel snow.

Experts say people who are relatively healthy and exercise regularly are less likely to have a heart attack when shoveling snow.

Cardiologist Kerry Stewart, MD, says: “If someone exercises regularly and has no risk factors for heart disease, their risk … will be lower than someone with those factors. high risk factors and no exercise.

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To reduce the risk of heart attack or heart attack when shoveling snow, experts recommend shoveling periodically during storms, taking frequent breaks and staying hydrated.

The American Heart Association also recommends pushing snow with a shovel instead of lifting and throwing it.

While using a snow blower is generally less intense than a shovel, some studies have shown that there is still an increased risk of heart attack in people using automatic snow blowers. According to the AHA, pushing the snow blower heavily can also raise your heart rate and blood pressure quickly.

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Edmund DeMarche

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