A new study published in the JAMA Cardiology came away with interesting findings about the connection between cold weather and an increased risk for a heart attack. But, there’s one glaringly obvious point they missed, as I’ll explain in just a moment…
For this new study, Swedish researchers looked at 15 years of data including approximately 274,000 patients (with an average age of 71) — each of whom were admitted to the hospital upon suffering a heart attack. Specifically, the researchers looked at the weather conditions on the day the patients were admitted.
As it turns out, lower daily air temperature, lower atmospheric pressure, higher wind velocity, and shorter duration of sunshine were all independent triggers for having a heart attack.
Air temperature had the strongest effect — with a higher heart attack rate on days with temperatures below 32° F.
And not surprisingly, warmer temperatures had the opposite effect. In fact, researchers observed a “dose-response” effect with temperature. The risk for a heart attack dropped 3 percent during each 7 degree increase in temperature.
This finding makes sense, as cold, windy weather causes the body to try to retain heat by constricting blood vessels. And this reaction creates more resistance and puts more workload on the heart.
And while that mechanical explanation makes a lot of sense, there was on obvious factor here that all the researchers failed to mention…
Low vitamin D.
Low vitamin D tied to 12x higher heart attack risk
As I explained in the February 2018 issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter (“NEWS BRIEF: Why your heart attack risk skyrockets in the winter”), low vitamin D during the dreary winter months plays a big part in increased heart attack risk.
In fact, in one study I covered in that issue, researchers found that older adults with inadequate vitamin D levels are more than 12 times more likely to suffer from heart failure than those with adequate levels.
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On the other hand, optimal vitamin D blood levels seem to help prevent just about every chronic disease in the book, including heart disease.
Of course, in my view, mind-body effects also play a part. For example, when it’s warmer and sunnier, we simply feel better, which helps reduce anxiety and emotional stress — the No. 1 hidden cause of heart disease.
So, here’s my simple, heart-healthy plan for winter:
1.) Get outside during breaks in the cold
While you may not want to head outside during the depths of winter weather, try to spend some time in Nature on sunny days. And when you do go outside, dress warmly in layers, and be careful not to over-do it.
2.) Supplement with vitamin D
Supplement daily with 10,000 IU of vitamin D. You can now find it in liquid form with the potent marine carotenoid astaxanthin. Simply type “astaxanthin” into the top right search bar via www.Dr.Micozzi.com to learn more.
3.) Reduce stress
Look for ways to reduce stress during the winter — such as massage or acupuncture. I encourage you to take this short quiz to determine which natural approaches will work best for you.
4.) Follow the Mediterranean diet
I also recommend following the Mediterranean Diet — probably the single healthiest diet on the planet when it comes to preventing chronic diseases, including heart disease. Typically, this diet consists of plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, olive oil, fish, meats, nuts, red wine, and heathy fats and full-fat cheeses (and other full-fat dairy).
5.) Enjoy some dark chocolate
I also encourage you to eat a bit of dark chocolate every day. As you’ll recall, in a large review published in the British Medical Journal a few years back, researchers found that men and women who ate the most chocolate had a 29 percent reduced risk of stroke compared to those who ate the least amount of chocolate. Plus, they had a 37 percent lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
And there you have it. Five simple ways you can start improving your cardiovascular health today. And remember, when the temperature drops, it’s especially important — for both your heart and overall health — to exercise some common sense when going outdoors. Be sure to call a neighbor, friends, or family if you need help getting around, running errands, or shoveling snow.
If you want to learn more natural methods to improve your heart health — all without dangerous surgeries or heart medications — refer to my Heart Attack Prevention & Repair Protocol. You can learn more about this life-saving online learning tool or enroll today by clicking here.
“Association of Weather With Day-to-Day Incidence of Myocardial Infarction: A SWEDEHEART Nationwide Observational Study,” JAMA cardiology (jamanetwork.com) 10/18/2018