Shoveling Snow Can Cause Heart Attacks

Cardiovascular

Author: Queen's University
Published: 2011/11/23 - Updated: 2022/06/01
Contents: Summary - Introduction - Main - Related

Synopsis: The article warns shoveling snow can cause heart attacks, especially for males with a family history of premature cardiovascular disease. Dr. Baranchuk and his team reviewed KGH patient records from the two previous winter seasons and discovered that of the 500 patients who came to the hospital with heart problems during this period, 7% (35 patients) had started experiencing symptoms while shoveling snow. If we take into account that we may have missed some patients who did not mention that they were shoveling snow around the time that the episode occurred, that number could easily double.

Introduction

Urban legend warns shoveling snow causes heart attacks, and the legend seems all too accurate, especially for male winterly excavators with a family history of premature cardiovascular disease. However, until recently this warning was based on anecdotal reports. Two of the most important cardiology associations in the US include snow shoveling on their websites as a high-risk physical activity.

Main Digest

Two of the most important cardiology associations in the US include snow shoveling on their websites as a high-risk physical activity, but all the citation references indicate that this warning was based on one or two incidents.

"We thought that this evidence should not be enough to convince us that snow shoveling is potentially dangerous," says Adrian Baranchuk, a professor at Queen's School of Medicine and a cardiologist at Kingston General Hospital.

Dr. Baranchuk and his team retrospectively reviewed KGH patient records from the two previous winter seasons and discovered that of the 500 patients who came to the hospital with heart problems during this period, 7 percent (35 patients) had started experiencing symptoms while shoveling snow.

"That is a huge number," says Dr. Baranchuk. "7 percent of anything in medicine is a significant proportion. Also, if we take into account that we may have missed some patients who did not mention that they were shoveling snow around the time that the episode occurred, that number could easily double."

The team also identified three main factors that put individuals at high risk when shoveling snow.

References:

Dr. Baranchuk collaborated on this study with Wilma Hopman (Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, KGH Clinical Research Center), William McIntyre, (Queen's medical resident), and Salina Chan and David Schogstad-Stubbs (Queen's medical students). These findings were recently published in Clinical Research in Cardiology.

Attribution/Source(s):

This quality-reviewed publication was selected for publishing by the editors of Disabled World due to its significant relevance to the disability community. Originally authored by Queen's University, and published on 2011/11/23 (Edit Update: 2022/06/01), the content may have been edited for style, clarity, or brevity. For further details or clarifications, Queen's University can be contacted at queensu.ca. NOTE: Disabled World does not provide any warranties or endorsements related to this article.

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Cite This Page (APA): Queen's University. (2011, November 23 - Last revised: 2022, June 1). Shoveling Snow Can Cause Heart Attacks. Disabled World. Retrieved July 23, 2024 from www.disabled-world.com/health/cardiovascular/shoveling.php

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