Here’s how you can lower your risk during the holidays

With heart attack deaths spiking during the holiday season, doctors are urging people to make sure they “take good care of themselves” and to be alert for heart attack warning signs.

More people die from heart attacks during the last week of December than at any other time of the year, according to the American Heart Association.

Christmas Day has the most cardiac deaths than on any other day of the year, researchers found in a study published in Circulation, the American Heart Association’s flagship journal. The second highest number of cardiac deaths happens on Dec. 26, and the third largest tally occurs on New Year’s Day.

“Generally around the holidays, we do see more heart attacks,” Ron Blankstein, a senior physician of preventive cardiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, told the Herald this week.

He cited the various potential reasons that snowball and lead to this alarming holiday trend, including: More stress around the holidays, overeating, drinking more alcohol, frigid wintry weather, and not sleeping as much amid family gatherings.

“So what should people do, knowing that there are more heart attack events this time of year? People need to make sure they take good care of themselves during the holidays,” Blankstein said.

“Try not to overeat, don’t overdo it with alcohol, and make sure to get sleep,” he added.

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