Winter months have been associated with a greater risk of for a variety of reasons.

The holidays can lead to indulgence that can worsen heart health and provoke an attack.

Cold weather causes constriction of blood vessels, raising blood pressure.

One study in the US found nearly 100 deaths a year from heart attacks suffered while shovelling snow.

A study in Sweden has found that weather conditions on a winter day can indicate the number of heart attacks that will occur.

A study of 274,000 people in Sweden who suffered heart attacks between 1998 and 2013 found several aspects of winter weather that worsened the risk for a heart attack.

Cold weather, lower air pressure, high winds and less sunshine were all identified as correlative factors.

When blood vessels near the surface constrict, this not only raises blood pressure but can also cause fatty plaques to rupture inside the arteries and block blood supply to the heart or brain.

READ MORE: Visceral fat: The red drink that turbocharges metabolism and burns the ‘dangerous’ fat

Your risk of suffering a heart attack will vary depending on a large number of environmental and lifestyle factors.

Family history plays a role, alongside metabolic conditions such as diabetes and high cholesterol.

You risk increases with age, but is also affected by behaviours such as diet, alcohol and smoking.

If you are concerned that you are at risk of a heart attack, your doctor can provide advice on what you can do to reduce that risk.

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