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Winter Sports May Increase Risk of Sudden Heart Attack

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Heart Attack related image Photo: Getty Images

My left-brained engineer husband has commented more than once that he’d like to slice open my brain (purely for scientific reasons, of course) because it must be lit up like a Christmas tree all the time. Why, you might ask? Well, one thing you need to know about me is that I think by association. One thought leads to another and then to a different path, and so on, with all thoughts being interconnected in some inexplicable logic which is perfectly clear to me (although not so necessarily clear to my left-brained engineer husband).

For example, today topped more than 100 degrees with a heat index that brought new meaning to the word hot. This end of the summer heat wave led me to ponder upon the fact that fall is around the corner. Fall brings cooler weather. Cooler weather brings the certainty of winter and winter break brings the promise of playing in a fairy-land of snow and ice, and for many, winter vacations to enjoy the unique winter sports, like skiing. This chain of thoughts, quite naturally to my way of thinking, led to the topic of this article - sudden heart attacks! (Are you still with me? Don’t worry, my husband got lost in the logic too!)

Despite the heat outside, it won’t be long before cooler weather is upon us and many will soon be planning winter break vacations to their favorite ski resort. (In fact, one of my neighbors is already making arrangements for the family’s winter ski trip.) But, before you strap on those ski boots and head up the slopes, step back for a minute and take a heart health assessment and make certain your heart is ready for the rigors of the “vacation.”

I’ve never been but the Alps are supposed to be one of the great winter sports destinations in the world. Literally millions of tourists flock there each year to ski and enjoy other winter sports. With so many visitors constantly streaming in and out, accidents, and even fatalities are not only bound to happen, but expected. What’s not expected, however, is that of the fatalities, 40 percent were the result of sudden cardiac death (heart attacks).

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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