Failure to comply with cardiovascular care increases by 20% during the summer, say experts. This can cause a patient to suffer heart and cerebrovascular problems, a case of angina, poor blood supply, heart failure and stroke. All this without forgetting the increased risk of kidney failure.
According to Dr.Luís González, specialist of the Integral Cardiology Unit of Quirónsalud Alicante, “In summer, long periods of letting our guard down can cause setbacks for our heart health; a poor diet with a lot of fats and salt, together with other factors such as tobacco abuse, excessive alcohol, decreased exercise on a regular basis – these factors can cause a lack of control of blood pressure”.
In summer, blood pressure values are lower than in the winter months, this is because in the heat there is what’s called a vasodilation help lower body temperature and as a result you have a lower blood pressure. Therefore, if a hypertensive person is exposed to too much to the sun in summer and does not hydrate properly, they can suffer severe hypotension that in severe cases would cause loss of consciousness and fainting.
According to Dr. González, “One of the medications used for the treatment of high blood pressure are diuretics and if you add the high temperatures of the environment, you lose more fluids, which is why it is vitally important that you take more fluids than usual.” What is most advised for this type of person during the heat is to drink plenty of water, eat fresh fruit and wear light clothing to favour the replacement of liquids that are lost with sweat and thus avoid dehydration or in more serious cases heat stroke.
Five keys to take care of your heart in summer
The holidays are the perfect time to do everything we cannot do the rest of the year, but our cardiovascular health does not have to suffer. However, it is advisable to take some precautions so that forgetting the routine of the rest of the year does not take its toll.
Carry on with medication. Breaking the routine makes us forget to take our medication, we always associate it with concrete actions such as breakfast, dinner, etc.
Caution with heat. The main causes of mortality during heat waves are related to cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, and respiratory diseases. That is why it is not appropriate for us to spend a lot of time exposed to the sun in the hottest hours of the day.
Watch out for alcohol. Experts advise to maintain a healthy and balanced diet in summer just like the rest of the year. Excessive intake of alcoholic beverages can lead to heart rhythm disorders and other problems.
Caution with the chosen holiday destination. For cardiac patients, it is advisable to avoid countries with extreme temperatures and countries with height above 2,000 metres because if the heart is damaged it will have to work more at altitude.
As for the means of transport, remember that long journeys by plane increase the risk of suffering deep vein thrombosis when we remain immobile for long periods.
Rest, important in summer. The aim of a holiday is to rest, but it is common that we end up doing the opposite by sleeping fewer hours. Something that is not beneficial for our cardiovascular health. Lack of sleep increases blood levels of stress hormones, which increases blood pressure and heartrate.