Doctors Say Christmas Is Deadliest Time Of Year - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/20/05 Tyler

Doctors Say Christmas Is Deadliest Time Of Year

It's considered one of the most wonderful times of the year, but for Americans, Christmas is also the deadliest time of year. Researchers found that 12.4% more deaths occur on Christmas than any other day of the year, and doctors say many of those deaths occur because of heart problems. When you have presents to buy and family to see, thinking about your heart's health is probably the last thing on your mind, but doctors say that could lead to some serious problems.

"This morning we had a patient who was just going to see his doctor and while sitting in the waiting room he developed a heavy, tight feeling in his chest," said Dr. William Moore, Emergency Room Physician at ETMC. Doctors say deaths occur because people are feeling too busy or too festive to go to the hospital.

"We've had cardiologists themselves that have had chest pain and have put it off,and they realize even weakness can be a symptom of your heart not working well," said Dr. Moore. Weakness is just one of the symptoms to look out for.

"Are they getting pain?," said Dr. Moore. "Are they getting pressure? Is it going down their neck, up their neck or down their arm? If they have anything that makes you think that their pump is not functioning well, that their heart's not working well then they need to get evaluated." The American Heart Association has some tips to keep your heart healthy during the holidays. First, don't skip your regular appointments because your too busy. Also, be sure to have enough of your usual medications to allow for holiday business and pharmacy closings and travel. It's also a good idea to check out the medical facilities where you'll be traveling, and most importantly, if you have symptoms of heart problems, don't ignore them.

"Don't put it off," said Dr. Moore. Doctors also say they often see an increase in depression over the holidays as well, which can lead to death.

Molly Reuter, reporting.

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