Emergency rooms are very busy this time of year. Dr. Vincent Pompili is the Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha and says there is an increase in cardiac cases. Studies over the past ten years show that the chance of having a cardiac event goes up by 5%
Dr. Pompili says, “The typical cause of a heart attack or risk factors include high cholesterol, high blood pressure or a family history. The number of factors is exacerbated during the holiday season including emotional stress and the high fat diet we partake upon ourselves this time of year adds to that.”
Dr. Pompili says another contributing factor is that people suffering chest pains or other symptoms don’t seek treatment because they don’t want to cause a fuss or ruin the celebration. He says that only makes things worse.
Dr. Pompili says the one day out of the year that hospitals treat patients with heart attacks is Christmas Day followed closely by December 26th and January 1st. Health officials say studies show that the “Christmas Coronary” is a two week period between December 25th and January 7th where there is a spike in cardiac deaths.