Why are heart attacks more common in winter?
Another possible reason for the seasonal increase in heart attacks is vitamin D deficiency, which is more prevalent in the winter due to the lack of sunlight. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with several risk factors for heart attack. However, based on an article published in 2018 in the journal Clinical hypertension published, more research is needed to understand the underlying mechanisms in this area.
A review study in Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine In 2013, it also shows that vitamin D may have a protective effect against cardiovascular diseases; Although the authors of the paper acknowledge that more research needs to be done to prove this.
What are the risk factors?
Based on a study in BMC Journal of Cardiovascular Disorders In 2003, it is difficult to determine the exact rate of increase in heart diseases in winter; Because respiratory and cardiovascular diseases are dependent disorders and each of them can be mentioned as a cause of death. With this in mind, there will be a wide variation in statistics depending on the stated cause of death. Based on this, studies conducted in different countries state the risk of death from heart diseases as between 5 and 30%.
One of the most important reasons for the wide range of risk of heart attacks in winter is related to the difference in cold weather in different countries; For example, a study in the journal BMC Cardiovascular Disorders showed that winter deaths from cardiovascular diseases are lower in Scandinavian countries than in the UK.
Socioeconomic factors and the health system are among the reasons that can be imagined for this difference in statistics. Another reason is that Scandinavian countries are better prepared to deal with cold weather.
The journal BMG Open conducted a study in 2017 and investigated the relationship between death rate and air temperature in Finland. The results of this study showed that deaths from heart attacks on extremely cold days in Finland were approximately 19% higher than on other days.
A study in the BMC Journal of Cardiovascular Disorders found that elderly patients hospitalized in November, December, January, and February were 30 to 50 percent more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than those hospitalized in May. This study showed that the risk of death of younger age groups is not related to the month of hospitalization. Considering this issue, it can be said that the age of the patients can also be considered a risk factor.