Whatever their cause, heart symptoms should never be taken lightly-especially during the winter months.
According to Cynthia Thaik, M.D., a cardiologist and member of the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association, research has shown that cardiovascular deaths spike by about 18 percent as the days shorten and the weather cools.
Why do cardiovascular concerns increase in winter?
Cold weather, being indoors more often, stress, lack of vitamin D and changes in the daylight to nighttime ratio all play a role in increasing a person's overall risk of cardiac problems during the winter, says Thaik.
There's also something about the holiday season that seems to be hard on the heart-Christmas and New Year's top the list of dangerous days for cardiovascular problems and death.
And, according to recent research, it doesn't seem to matter whether you live in icy Wisconsin, or sunny Florida-the winter months can still take a toll on your ticker.
Researchers from the University of New Mexico discovered that people who lived in Texas, Georgia, Arizona and Los Angeles experienced the same jump in heart-death risk as those residing in cooler states, such as Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.