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SOURCE Northwestern Medicine
Simple precautions can help prevent heart attacks when shoveling
CHICAGO, Dec. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- That snow isn't going to shovel itself, but Chicago-area residents, particularly those with known heart disease, should take extra precautions when clearing stairs, sidewalks and driveways of heavy winter snow, Northwestern Medicine® cardiovascular experts said.
Local residents should use the winter weather as a reminder to check for risks of heart disease, and if they have these risks, discuss them with a physician prior to shoveling snow. Common risk factors include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, being over 50, family history of heart disease, smoking and inactivity.
"Shoveling snow is hard work and puts a great deal of stress on the heart," said R. Kannan Mutharasan, MD, co-medical director of the Northwestern Memorial Hospital's new Sports Cardiology Program and assistant professor of cardiology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "Chicago gets an average of 38 inches of snow each winter, and shoveling is a strenuous activity that can greatly increase blood pressure and heart rate. This puts a lot of strain on the heart, and can even lead to a heart attack. We want everyone picking up a shovel to do so safely."
After speaking with your doctor about your risk factors, consider the following precautions when dusting off your trusty shovel:
For more tips on managing heart disease, visit Northwestern's Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute's website. To learn more about your personal heart health and potential risk factors, take our free online health survey.
About Northwestern Medicine®
Northwestern Medicine® is the collaboration between Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine around a strategic vision to transform the future of healthcare. It encompasses the research, teaching and patient care activities of the academic medical center. Sharing a commitment to superior quality, academic excellence and patient safety, the organizations within Northwestern Medicine comprise more than 9,000 clinical and administrative staff, 3,100 medical and science faculty and 700 students. The entities involved in Northwestern Medicine remain separate organizations. Northwestern Medicine is a trademark of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and is used by Northwestern University.
About Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Northwestern Memorial is one of the country's premier academic medical center hospitals and is the primary teaching hospital of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Along with its Prentice Women's Hospital and Stone Institute of Psychiatry, the hospital has 1,705 affiliated physicians and 6,769 employees. Northwestern Memorial is recognized for providing exemplary patient care and state-of-the art advancements in the areas of cardiovascular care; women's health; oncology; neurology and neurosurgery; solid organ and soft tissue transplants and orthopaedics.
Northwestern Memorial has nursing Magnet Status, the nation's highest recognition for patient care and nursing excellence. Northwestern Memorial ranks 6th in the nation in the U.S. News & World Report 2013-14 Honor Roll of America's Best Hospitals. The hospital is recognized in 14 of 16 clinical specialties rated by U.S. News and is No. 1 in Illinois and Chicago in U.S. News' 2013-14 state and metro rankings, respectively. For 14 years running, Northwestern Memorial has been rated among the "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers" guide by Working Mother magazine. The hospital is a recipient of the prestigious National Quality Health Care Award and has been chosen by Chicagoans as the Consumer Choice according to the National Research Corporation's annual survey for 15 consecutive years.
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