Humidity Can Lead to Heart Attacks

By: Jessica Aspiras
By: Jessica Aspiras

If you know anything about Michigan, you know a stroll outside on a summer day is something to savor. Because before you know it, the temperature on the signs won't be blinking 82 degrees anymore, but more like 22 degrees. Still you want to be careful out in the sun. According to a new study by the University of Athens Medical School, the warm season brings humidity and a greater risk for heart attacks, especially in the elderly.

"They may be running dehydration because of the medicines they're taking. And then you expose them to an elevated heat index, and you got a person who is at particular risk for a myocardial infarction or other stress related injuries."

Dr. Ron Rhule is an ER doctor at Sparrow Hospital. He says babies, as well as the elderly run the risk of having heat exhaustion or heat stroke on a summer day, even if the temperature doesn't seem high.

"People look at thermometer and it says only 80 degrees. But if it's 100 percent humidity, then all of a sudden the heat index is going upwards towards 90."

And if you're outside and not drinking enough fluids, your body will react negatively.

"If you're going to dehydrate then your body stress is going to go up. If your body stress goes up, you elevate the amount of cortisol and the amount of adrenaline in your body and puts stress on your heart."

But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the outdoors, just be wise about your health. That way you're time in the sun doesn't turn into an emergency room visit.


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