Study of 500 People with Acute Coronary Syndrome: 7% Occurred After Snow Shoveling


Researchers at Kingston General Hospital, Queens University designed a study to identify potential factors that place individuals at higher risk ofor developing a snow-shoveling-related Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS). The study involved interviews with 500 people with average age of 65.7 (range 31-94) Of the 500 patients, 7% reported having shoveled snow.

Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) is usually one of three diseases involving the coronary arteries: ST elevation myocardial infarction (30%), non ST elevation myocardial infarction (25%), or unstable angina (38%). Those suffering a snow-shoveling-related event were 3.6 times more likely to have a family history of premature cardiovascular disease and were 4.8 times more likely to be male. Also, a history of chronic stable angina trended toward an association.

ACS is often the result of damage to the coronary arteries by atherosclerosis. Primary prevention of atherosclerosis is controlling the risk factors: healthy eating, exercise, treatment for hypertension and diabetes, avoiding smoking and controlling cholesterol levels; in patients with significant risk factors, aspirin has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events.

See also …
Nichols RB, McIntyre WF, Chan S, Scogstad-Stubbs D, Hopman WM, Baranchuk A. Snow-shoveling and the risk of acute coronary syndromes. Clin Res Cardiol. 2011 Sep 9.

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