Heat & Heart: Cardiac Arrest Cases Spike With Extreme Weather, Caution Cardiologists

Heat & Heart: Cardiac Arrest Cases Spike With Extreme Weather, Caution Cardiologists

Dehydration in extreme summer leads cardiac arrest, while in winter, constriction of blood vessels leads high blood pressure elevating the risk of heart attack, say health experts.

Staff ReporterUpdated: Friday, May 24, 2024, 08:13 AM IST
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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): You must have come across a noticeable increase in cardiac arrest cases recently. Cardiologists explain that heart attack incidences remain high during extreme weather conditions, be it winter or summer. During winter, heart attack cases remain high because of constriction of blood vessels which increases blood pressure. In summer, dehydration is a major factor leading to cardiac arrests. High heat can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular issues, said the health experts.

Dr Deepak Sharma, 30,pursuing an MD in anesthesia at Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre (BMHRC) after completing his MBBS from Muzaffarpur, died of a cardiac arrest in mid-May. In the second week of May, BJP leader Govind Maloo suffered a cardiac arrest, and AIG Pratibha Tripathi died of a heart attack at the end of April. These cases are among the numerous instances of cardiac arrest this summer.

In summer, the loss of fluid from the body may cause dehydration elevating the risk of heart attacks. So in extreme summer the heart has to work harder to keep the body temperature in normal range. Cold weather can lead to a higher blood pressure, and other heart health related risks. 

The winter season can have a direct impact on the way the body functions. It can constrict blood vessels and coronary arteries, which directly impacts how blood flows across the body. In winter, people also engage less in physical activities due to the low temperature.

‘Heart works harder to keep body temp normal’

“Dehydration leads to cardiac arrest in summer. Thus extreme heat may push the body to work harder to maintain a stable internal temperature, resulting in increased heart rate and blood flow. So in summer the heart has to work harder to keep the body temperature in normal range. This places excessive stress on the heart and can even lead to deadly heart attacks so one must ensure the body remains hydrated.” Dr Skand Trivedi, cardiologist

‘Heat waves trigger excessive sweating’

 “Heat waves trigger excessive sweating, leading to dehydration and heart strain.  Consequently, the body may exert additional effort to regulate a stable internal temperature during extreme heat.

-Dr Subroto Mandal, Cardiologist 

Elderly, children more prone to heat illness: Experts

Health experts noted that rising temperatures can affect everyone but, people of extreme ages, such as the elderly or children, are at higher risk of heat exhaustion and heatstroke. The experts advised staying indoors during extreme heat waves, wearing light clothes, keeping proper hydration, eating good and balanced food at home, and avoiding meals from outside.        

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