ISLAMABAD, FEB 18, (DNA) -The risk of getting a heart attack is highest in winter and lowest in summer, according to latest research based on analysis of more than 100,000 patients in seven European countries. The researchers found that levels of several cardiovascular risk factors (such as blood pressure, waist circumference and total cholesterol) were higher in winter (January to February) and lower in summer (June to August) compared to the annual average, Science Daily reported.
The findings were presented at the congress of the European Society of Cardiology currently meeting at Amsterdam by Dr Pedro Marques-Vidal from Switzerland.
The study used cross-sectional data from 10 population based studies in 7 countries.
Information was obtained on cardiovascular risk factors in 107,090 subjects aged 35 to 80 years. The country breakdown was as follows: 21,128 subjects in Belgium, 15,664 in Denmark, 1,626 in France, 18,370 in Italy, 25,532 in Norway, 9,359 in Russia and 15,411 in Switzerland.
Levels of blood pressure, lipids, glucose, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and waist circumference were compared according to season. All data were adjusted for age, gender and smoking. Data on blood pressure, lipids and glucose were adjusted for BMI and whether or not the patient was taking medication.
“Our large scale study shows that some cardiovascular risk factors take holidays over the summer. This may explain why deaths from cardiovascular disease are higher in winter than summer. People need to make an extra effort to exercise and eat healthily in the winter to protect their health,” Dr