Don't have a Christmas coronary

A doctor examines a patient.
December 24, 2009 5:32:01 AM PST
If the holidays are stressing you out, you're not alone.

Doctors say it is important to stop and take a deep breath. Studies show more people have heart attacks on Christmas Day than any other day of the year.

It's often called the Merry Christmas Coronary.

The weather, stress, depression and overindulgence are often considered contributing factors. Researchers say people are less likely to get medical attention during the holidays.

"Things that are more essential such as doctor's visits get put on hold until perhaps the beginning of next year," said Dr. Ravish Sachar, WakeMed Heart Center. "And while they may feel that that is okay, from a heart standpoint, that usually is not okay, and may lead to this increased risk of heart attacks that we see."

And the risk does not end when Santa leaves. The day after Christmas is the second biggest day for heart attacks. New Year's Day is the third largest day.

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