“Holiday Heart Syndrome,” a term coined in 1978, describes the influx of emergency room patients during the holidays suffering from irregular heart rhythms.
Atrial fibrillation feels like a quiver in the chest and may be accompanied by shortness of breath and fatigue.
Alcohol appears to be a major contributing factor, though salty foods, stress and lack of sleep can lead to the “perfect storm.”
The key to prevention? Says cardiologist Dr. Kevin Campbell: “Moderation in alcohol and eating. Getting plenty of exercise and plenty of sleep. And try to avoid big family discussions until after the holidays.”
The Canadian Press