What is the relationship between cold and heart disease?

Do you feel dizzy after climbing the stairs? Do you feel weak or run out of energy later than you used to? If this happens in the months of December, January or February, it may be due to heart-related problems that are more apparent in the winter.

Some studies warn that the risk of heart problems increases in cold weather, calling for caution because they may develop into serious diseases.

A study published in the National Library of Medicine in 2013 says that the risk of developing atrial flutter, or atrial fibrillation, increases in cold weather, and peaks in January and February.

When you have atrial flutter, the upper chambers of the heart (atria) beat very quickly. This causes the heart rate to increase, but it is often regular, according to the Mayo Clinic website.

Atrial flutter is a type of arrhythmia caused by problems in the heart’s electrical system.
In the short term, it is unlikely to be serious, but about half of patients with atrial flutter may develop full-blown atrial fibrillation.

In the long run, this could threaten a stroke or heart attack, according to the Washington Post.

An analysis of 15 studies, which included more than 125,000 patients in 2015, found that atrial fibrillation occurs most often in the winter and decreases in the summer, falling to its lowest levels in July.

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