Blizzard of 2016 Increases Risk of A-Fib Stroke
We’ve all heard of someone dropping dead from a heart attack while shoveling snow. But along with record snowfall and subfreezing temperatures comes a warning for those with Atrial Fibrillation. Winter increases stroke risk in people with A-Fib.
Do You Live in a Cold Climate?
In a study from Taiwan, nearly 300,000 people with new-onset A-Fib were followed for eleven years. Almost 35,000 suffered an ischemic (A-Fib) stroke.
The risk for an ischemic stroke was nearly 20% higher in winter than in summer.
“When the average temperature was below 68⁰ F (20⁰C), the risk of ischemic stroke significantly increased compared to days with an average temperature of 86⁰F (30⁰C).”
Why More Ischemic Strokes During Winter?
Cold weather may make blood more prone to coagulate.
Cooler temperatures may produce greater plasm fibrinogen levels and factor VII clotting activity and may lead to “increased coagulability and plasma viscosity,” according to the author of this study, Dr. Tze-Fan Chao.
Ischemic stroke was nearly 20% higher in winter than in summer.