A new study shows that cardiologists perform more treatments for heart attacks during winter than at any other time of the year. And the researchers believe air pollution may be part of the reason for this trend.
I’ve warned you many times before about both cardiologists and their useless, unnecessary treatments. And, of course, how the best way to avoid them is to keep your heart healthy.
But that can be more difficult during winter. Extreme changes in temperature can put physiological stress on blood vessels and the heart. Shoveling snow and overexerting yourself is a very real danger for heart attacks. Plus, it can be hard to keep up moderate exercise routines, like daily walks, when it’s icy and cold outside.
And now, the very air you breathe may contribute to winter heart attacks—leading to invasive and useless cardiology procedures.
Air pollution and heart attacks
Polish researchers measured air particulate matter—ranging from mining and quarrying byproducts, to wood and coal heating smoke, to lawnmower and automobile exhaust—in various parts of their country. They then designated six “clean,” or unpolluted areas, and five “dirty” areas.1
Next, researchers looked at the medical records of 5,648 people from clean areas, along with 10,239 people from dirty cities, who had all undergone stent insertions after a heart attack. Then they compared the dates of those procedures with air-quality data.
They discovered that stent procedures were done more frequently in winter, when air pollution was at its highest.
Not surprisingly, the mean particulate matter concentrations were twice as high in polluted cities compared with unpolluted areas. But even in areas where pollution was low, a day-to-day increase in particulate matter was still associated with greater numbers of stent procedures.
More people equals more cardiologists
Although it wasn’t considered by the study researchers, I would also point out that these same polluted, urbanized environments have more heart doctors and more facilities that perform dangerous, invasive procedures for heart attack treatment in the first place (like angioplasty and stenting).
Plus, cardiologists may simply be around more during winter— instead of away on summer vacation or junketing to big pharma-sponsored medical meetings in fall and spring.
Remember the studies showing heart patients in Canada do better in more rural areas where there are fewer cardiologists and, consequently, residents make fewer visits to cardiologists? And how other studies show death rates among patients who suffer heart attacks are lower when they’re admitted to hospitals on weekends and holidays, when cardiologists are NOT around?
Well, that makes it tempting to think how much heart health would improve, and heart attack deaths would decline during the winter, if cardiologists simply got snowed in at a remote location for a while.
At the end of the day, just be cautious. While you know I’m a fan of getting outdoors in Nature whenever you can, you may need to rethink your routine during extreme cold weather. Especially if you live in a place with higher levels of air pollution.
And take extra steps to protect your heart this winter (and year-round) with the steps outlined in my online Heart Attack Prevention and Repair Protocol. To learn more, or to enroll today, click here or call 1-866-747-9421 and ask for order code EOV3W100.