Ways to stay cool, protect your heart in extreme temperatures

Heart Attack
Heart Attack(Pixabay)
Published: Jun. 3, 2022 at 10:02 AM CDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - It’s getting hot here in south Louisiana, and this weather is a known risk factor for heart health, especially for men with pre-existing cardiovascular conditions.

A new study shows men in their early 60s face a greater risk of dying from heart attacks on hot, muggy Louisiana nights.

Researchers found that a two-degree temperature rise at night during the hottest summer months was linked to a nearly 5% spike in deaths.

“It’s really important to make sure that in these hot months that are coming up that we are staying in cool environments and trying to take advantage of regulating our body temperature,” said Dr. Tony Johnson, primary care sports medicine physician at Baton Rouge General.

Johnson said hot weather is a known factor for heart health, especially for people who have pre-existing cardiovascular conditions.

“Any time you’re getting a persistent temperature greater than 103, as well as having symptoms of dizziness, feeling like you’re going to pass out, feeling like your heart’s beating through your chest, those are all signs that you need to go to the emergency room,” explained Johnson.

He said there are many ways to stay cool during extreme temperatures.

  • Try to keep your home cool during the daytime by closing curtains.
  • Wear loose-fitting cotton-based clothes and pajamas.
  • Don’t rely too much on fans.
  • Stick with smaller meals that don’t overload your stomach.

“Be aware of the signs. If it’s a really hot day, make sure you get some time inside, and I think the most important thing is maintaining your hydration,” added Johnson.

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