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Holidays not always good for the heart

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The holidays are a time to eat, drink, and be merry. But all the food, alcohol and stress that surrounds this time of year can be harmful to your health. Decades of research shows more people have heart problems around

Christmas than any other time of the year.

“We’ve seen a spike both in heart attacks but also in heart failure,” Dr. Amir Haghighat, a cardiologist with the Cardiovascular Institute of Northwest Florida, said. “We have patients who have fluid overload, whether they ate too much salt or drank too much alcohol or just forgot to take their medications. Some of them are travelers who are coming to Florida to visit family here and forgot their meds or didn’t realize that they should avoid eating too much salt.”

It’s not just holiday gluttony causing heart troubles.

“What happens is we assume it’s the stress of the season,” said Dr. Hagighat. “I mean the holidays are the happiest time and also the most stressful times. Sometimes you have great family visits and sometimes you have stressful family visits.”

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