Cases of heart attacks and strokes reported at different medical institutes have almost doubled in the past 15 days. Experts are cautioning individuals with hypertension, heart conditions, and the elderly to be vigilant as the cold weather may worsen the existing cardiovascular issues.
At King George’s Medical University (KGMU), an increase in cases has been observed, with approximately 12-14 instances of stroke and 20-25 cases of heart attacks being reported daily for the past 15 days. This marks a 100 per cent increase compared to typical days.
At the Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences (RMLIMS), the daily count has risen to eight to nine cases of heart attacks and 10 stroke cases, up from four to five on regular days.
Neurologist Prof Ravi Uniyal from KGMU said that while on normal days 6-7 cases of stroke used to be reported, currently it has surged to 12-14.
He emphasized that about 50 per cent of stroke and heart attack patients are unaware of their high blood pressure, often neglecting hypertensive treatment.
The cold weather induces blood vessels to constrict, elevating the risk of cardiovascular incidents, with temperature affecting platelets and increasing the likelihood of clot formation.
“When this clot blocks blood flow to the brain a patient suffers a stroke. Often when the vessel bursts due to hypertension it results in haemorrhage. Both the conditions could be deadly,” he added.
Prof Pravesh Vishwakarma, a faculty member at King George’s Medical University’s cardiology department, highlighted the heightened risk for individuals with cardiovascular issues, citing the increased chances of heart attacks due to vessel constriction.
He recommended flu vaccine shots for high-risk individuals and emphasized lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet, regular exercise, and weight management.
Prof Bhuwan Chand, head of cardiology at RMLIMS, urged individuals to avoid sudden temperature changes, dress warmly, and undergo regular health check-ups. He emphasized that proactive measures, both in terms of medical care and lifestyle adjustments, are crucial to safeguard against the elevated risks posed by winter’s impact on cardiovascular health.