Study shows that climate does not factor into prevalence
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/14/2013 -- While many associate winter with the rise of the flu, cough, and snow-activity-related injuries, it is apparently the case that heart attacks can also be added to the list of common occurrences in the winter.
A new study has noted that fatal heart attacks, as well as strokes, are more likely to occur during the winter than any other time of the year. It does not seem to depend upon whether or not the climates are warmer or colder during the winter season, but instead simply the time of year.
The researchers looked through nearly 1.7 million death certificates to come up with the data-based conclusion, pouring over information from 2005-2008. Dr. Bryan Schwartz of the University of New Mexico and Robert A Kloner of the heart Institute at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles found that 26% to 36% greater death rate for heart attacks were found to be in the winter than in the summer “despite different locations and climates,” Kloner said. The worst month appeared to be December, followed by January and February, and included the starting portion of March.
The doctors analyzed the cause of death for persons in Texas, Arizona, Georgia, Los Angeles, Washington state, Pennsylvania, and Massachusettes. Of those who died of heart disease, the winter pattern appeared to be clear, according to the researchers. In Los Angeles, there were 70 total deaths per day from cardiac disease, according to Schwartz. In comparison, “In the summer, L.A. Had an average death rate of about 55 per day.”
This research has also uncovered patterns in the cardiac deaths from “seven different climate patterns,” according to the makers of the study, and “death rates at all sites clustered closely together and no one site was statistically different than any other site.”
The work was published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.
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