A note to women: Why more people are likely to suffer a heart attack on Christmas Eve

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  • A study which was published by British Medical Journal found that Christmas Eve sees an increase in heart attacks every year.
  • They found that the risk of having a heart attack increases up to 37 percent on Christmas Eve and 15% percent higher on Christmas Day. They also saw a 20% increase on New Years Day.
  • The big scale study was done using data from about 280 000 Swedish people over the course of 16 years.

“It’s a big study, not a sample,” said David Erlinge, a cardiologist at Lund University, in this New York Times article. “Every heart attack for 16 years in the whole country is in it. It’s reality.” The study found that on any major holiday or big sports event people are more likely to suffer from heart problems.

So what exactly is the cause of the sudden surge in heart attacks on Christmas eve and other major events?

The findings of the study suggest that during the festive season and other big events people are more likely to have higher emotional stress levels which have an incredibly negative effect on your heart and results in heart attacks.

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“We do not know for sure but emotional distress with acute experience of anger, anxiety, sadness, grief, and stress increases the risk of a heart attack. Excessive food intake, alcohol, long distance traveling may also increase the risk,” said David.

In 2016 The American Heart Association reported that within a year, 26% of women will die from a heart attack while the number for men is 19%.

They also found that after five years of experiencing a heart attack, more than half women will die while, 36% of men die.

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But what exactly causes the significant percentage difference in women and men's heart attack statistics?

According to Healthline, women often misinterpret the signs of a heart attack or heart problems which tend to be different than the symptoms of men. They also said that doctors possibly misdiagnose women, as a result, health issues are ignored.

If ever there was a reason to sit back and relax this festive season, this is it.

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