If you were dreaming of a white Christmas, check that off the list. If you would do anything to keep Christmas a silent night, don't check that off your list if it puts your health in danger. Nancy Naeve Brown asked a cardiologist at the Avera Heart Hospital about Christmas and coronaries.
Cardiologist Dr. David Nagelhout with North Central Heart says, "There has been research done to show peaks for heart attack around the Holidays and heart type of problems. We are not real clear on why these things happen, but the thought is that it has to do with emotional stress, travel, unfamiliar surroundings, potential diet, alcohol, salt, a lot of variability.
Q: These are obviously people with cardiovascular disease so do they not know they have it?
A: They probably have some sort of cult type of heart problem. Some people may already have a problem and unfortunately ignore it around the holiday. That's not uncommon, but certain things may trigger that and alcohol may be one of them.
Q: What's your advice for folks?
A: If you have symptoms; chest pain, pressure, arm pain, shortness of breath, you better get in and see your physician. Don't delay. One of the contributors to the problem is people are sitting around the table with family or they are out of town and they think I don't want to bother people, I don't want to get in and upset the whole festivities so that may be part of the problem. You have to get in right away. It is so very important."
It will be more upsetting if you die from a heart attack that upsetting the party. Call 911 right away. For more information call 877-AT-AVERA .