Snow shoveling is the first thing people do after a heavy snowfall. Otherwise, the streets would fall victim to a thick and slippery layer of ice. However, having your neighborhood cleaned comes with a price. A new Canadian study found that men are at a greater risk of a heart attack when they are busy getting the snow out of the way than they normally are.
Nathalie Auger is a study researcher at the University of Montreal. She and her colleagues conducted a study to see how cases of heart attacks are developing under the circumstances imposed by the cold seasons. To catch a better view of this situation, the team of researchers collected data from 128,073 events of heart attacks that happened between November and April, starting with the year of 1981 and ending in 2014. During this time, the scientists learned that 68,000 of the cases ended under fatal circumstances. Moreover, a peculiar phenomenon is that these death cases are usually increasing in number right after a storm.
What is more regarding this odd case is that 60% of hospital admissions of heart attacks that are fatal were for patients of the male gender. This observation suggests the fact that right after a heavy snowfall, hospitals receive more cases of men with heart attacks than usual. Another aspect of this phenomenon that the researchers discovered is that the storm has to last for at least two days for this situation to occur.
As a consequence, the study concludes that men are 16% more predisposed to heart attacks after a snowfall. Moreover, there are 34% higher risks for these cases to prove to be fatal. On the other hand, the study found no difference between the health condition of women after a storm and their usual state.
Researchers have linked these results to the fact that men are more likely to start snow shoveling after a winter storm than women. Thus, this winter activity might not be so healthy after all. On the contrary, this might lead to serious cases of heart attacks. This study is confirming some suppositions that circulated the medical world for a long time now. The lead author of the study, Nathalie Auger, stated that her research had identified snow shoveling as a new cause of heart attacks at the level of an entire population.
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