EXCLUSIVE: Are winters dangerous for the heart? Doctor shares facts about the risk of heart attacks among youngsters

Heart attack during winters: Most hypertensive individuals experience thickening, clotting, and higher blood pressure as the weather gets cooler, all of which increase the risk of heart attacks. Numerous studies conducted throughout the world have revealed that the risk of having a heart attack is double compared to what it is during summer.

The temperature outside has an opposite relationship to blood pressure. The heart must work harder to pump the same amount of blood during the winter as a result of the rise in blood pressure. Our blood arteries constrict to keep our body temperatures stable.

Zee News Digital spoke to Dr Bikram Kesharee Mohanty, Senior Consultant Cardio-Thoracic & Vascular Surgeon (Adult & Paediatric), Visiting Consultant at National Heart Institute, Delhi. Dr Mohanty answered every question with a very practical outlook. Read to understand.

What causes a heart attack?

Heart attack is a consequence of blockages in the arteries of the heart and blood is just a liquid carrier just like we commute from one place to another in a vehicle similarly blood carries oxygen across the body from the heart to other organs of the body. And when this blood flow gets restricted due to the blockage in the arteries heart attacks occur.

What causes heart attacks to occur in youngsters?

Cardiovascular disorders have been around for a long time however, now it has discovered a way to afflict the younger population, people as young as 21-year-olds as well, straying from their usual pattern of focusing on the elderly and those with pre-existing heart ailments.

Although there is no certain age at which someone will have a heart attack, your lifestyle choices, food, exercise programme, and stress management techniques can all influence your odds.

Dr Mohanty says, “This happens majorly due to the new-age lifestyle or the modern day lifestyle because earlier we used to engage in regular physical activity and nowadays what is happening now, we are simply rushing to work and back home but not exercising. With that, we eat unhealthy breakfasts and indulge in tobacco smoking and consume high amounts of caffeine daily, most of all we take a lot of stress and do not get adequate sleep every day and following the same routine is all part of a sedentary lifestyle.”

When you take stress, the cortisol released in the body causes a somewhat hormonal imbalance which creates problems such as hypertension and diabetes. Stress hormones also constrict the arteries making it difficult for the blood to reach the body’s extremities.

Major reasons leading to a heart attack

– Lack of exercise.

– Sedentary lifestyle.

– Taking a lot of stress.

– Lack of relaxation.

– Smoking and consuming excessive alcohol.

“Another thing is that we are going to the gym, we have a certain capacity to which we can push our bodies in terms of the workout. When we create unrealistic targets with strenuous exercises and that affects the heart in many ways,” remarks Dr Mohanty.


Especially during the festive season people should avoid over-eating and consume alcohol in moderation. While socializing, in order to blend in we follow the same things that people around us are doing which could be smoking, eating processed sweets and binge alcohol consumption. Also, engage in some physical activity in the morning and keep your blood sugar and hypertension in check with regular tests and taking proper medications, if necessary.

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