Cardiologists see an uptick in the number of patients during the holidays.

“The common issues we see are blood pressure issues, because of the salty foods as well as drinking more alcohol,” Dr. John Higgins, a cardiologist at UT Health Sciences Center in Houston, tells KTRH News.  “And high cholesterol level issues because their diet is thrown out by a lack of moderation.  We can see issues such as increased rate of heart attacks when it is cold outside, and people are exerting themselves.  Cold weather causes blood vessels to contract and that causes blood pressure to rise.”

Dr. Miguel Quinones, head of the cardiology department at Houston Methodist Hospital says people with depression are also at high risk for heart attacks during the holidays. 

Dr. Quinones says if you feel your heart racing, suddenly find yourself feeling poorly for no apparent reason, and feel tightness in your chest or even shoulders or neck, seek medical help immediately.  As is the case with stroke, the muscle damage from a heart attack can be mitigated by a fast response.