Tips for Protecting Your Heart During the Cold, Dark Days of Winter
Bitter cold, darkness, changes in eating and exercise habits and the prevalence of flu work together to increase the risk of heart attack in people with coronary artery disease.

Tips for Protecting Your Heart During the Cold, Dark Days of Winter

Short days and low temperatures can spell trouble for people with heart disease. Here's what you need to know to be safe.

Get a flu shot. Flu increases the risk of hospitalization or death from cardiovascular disease. In studies, flu shots have been shown to reduce heart attacks and strokes by 55 percent in people who had recently suffered a cardiovascular event. The flu vaccine is associated with a 50 percent reduction in flu-season deaths among heart failure patients. "Even if the vaccine is not fully effective, it can lessen the likelihood you will have a heart attack or stroke," says Dr. Rocco.

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