Avoiding dangerous "holiday heart"

Published On: Dec 21 2013 12:53:47 PM EST

VIDEO: The holidays are certainly an exciting time, but the hustle and bustle can also bring unexpected medical concerns; including increased risk for heart attack and stroke. Studies show that there is a significant increased risk in December and January, specifically on Christmas Day and New Years Day. Dr. Kevin Barrett, Mayo Clinic, talks more about this Holiday Heart rise and how it can be prevented.


Overeating, stress, lack of exercise and excessive alcohol can be a big part of holiday celebrations.  They are also be big contributors to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke in December and January.

Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows a significant increase in those heart events during that time.

Mayo Clinic neurologist Kevin Barrett, M.D. appeared on The Morning Show Saturday to talk about that research, saying that the holiday increase peaks on Christmas day and New Year's day.

He said it's especially important not to ignore risk factors, and people often do that during the holidays.

"No one wants to be the bother during a party or during a family gathering and say they're not feeling well," he said.

Doctors, however, encourage people, especially at this high risk time to seek medical attention.

To schedule an appointment with the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, you can call 904-953-0853.

If you think you are having a heart attack, stroke or other life-threatening emergency call 911.



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