ARIZONA NEWS

New Year’s Day is the 3rd most common time Americans get heart attacks, Valley doctor says

Dec 30, 2023, 7:15 AM

tips to avoid heart attacks on New Year's Day 2024 2023...

Chest pain is a common warning sign for an imminent heart attack. (Photo by: BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

(Photo by: BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

PHOENIX — New Year’s Day is meant for celebration, but it’s also the third-most common day for Americans to suffer from heart attacks, according to the American Heart Association.

Dr. Kimberly Klatt, a physician with Optum Primary Care in Fountain Hills, said the holiday season can be especially stressful.

“Studies have actually shown that more people die from heart attacks on Dec. 25 than any other day of the year,” Klatt told KTAR News 92.3 FM. “The holidays are such a busy time that patients sometimes miss or put off their doctors’ appointments and their regular checkups.”

Not only that, but the holiday season invites indulgence – especially when it comes to alcohol, Klatt said. With all the hustle and bustle distracting people from their healthcare needs, it’s easy to miss the early signs of a heart attack.

How to avoid heart attacks this New Year’s Day

To reduce stress and stay safe during the holiday season, it’s best to keep a daily routine, Klatt said. She tells patients to try to maintain regular exercise and step away when social events become too stressful.

“I recommend eating a healthy diet during the holidays, making sure your diet consists of high protein, high fiber foods and trying to really minimize your added sugars and fats,” Klatt said.

Overall, indulge in moderation, she added. Measures like this are especially critical because the warning signs of a heart attack can be vague. Plus, symptoms can vary from person to person.

Nevertheless, here are a few red flags that should trigger a trip to the doctor’s office.

Watch out for these signs of an impending heart attack

“One of the most common symptoms is obviously chest pain or discomfort, and that can happen either at rest or with activity,” Klatt said.

She shared other heart attack symptoms to watch out for, like:

  • Neck or back pain that is new or unusual.
  • Indigestion.
  • Heartburn.
  • Dyspepsia.
  • Extreme fatigue or feeling more tired than usual.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • General sense of discomfort in upper body or arms.

Dizziness or shortness of breath can also be dangerous, she said.

“The heart is closely related with blood flow to the brain and also closely related to your lung function as well,” Klatt said. “If you feel like something is just out of the norm for you or worsening, it’s a great idea to seek medical attention to be on the safe side.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Colton Krolak contributed to this report.

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New Year’s Day is the 3rd most common time Americans get heart attacks, Valley doctor says