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      Research shows an increase of heart-related deaths during holiday season

      Research shows an increase of heart-related deaths occur during the holiday season.

      While the Jefferson County Health Center sees a number of medical emergencies throughout the year, Asst. Outpatient Director Staci Worley has been tracking the trend, and says over the years, they see the highest rate of cardiac emergencies in the month of December

      . Experts say stress, overeating and excessive alcohol consumption during the winter could be contributing factors to more heart attacks and other emergencies this time of year.

      â??There are a couple different ideas out there, one being that the holidays are very stressful,â?? Worley said. â??Another is, that there's a decrease in the daylight hours, which changes hormonal levels, which may change the number of cardio protective effects that the hormones give our body; another one is people who don't typically exercise a lot or get a lot of aerobic exercises are going out and shoveling snow not because they have to, and they may not realize that their body is working as hard as they are until they go in.â??

      Worley says if you don't get a lot of physical activity on a normal basis, to shovel the driveway in short bursts and take breaks to avoid an unnecessary trip to the E.R, and if you think you are having heart attack call 911. Don't drive yourself to the hospital.