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Shoveling Can be a Heart Blizzard

A Swampscott snow shoveler may have suffered a heart attack at midday.

 

All the digging that follows a massive snowstorm can trigger heart attacks, medical experts say.

Swampscott emergency crews were called to a local home today at 12:30 for a report of a possible heart attack victim. The person had been shoveling snow.

Heart problems can arise when people who rarely exercise take their snow shovel and heave hundreds of pounds of snow, according to a Harvard Medical School journal article.

Add cold weather to the mix and probelms can grow, the journal article states.

Cold temperatures can boost blood pressure, interrupting blood flow and making it more likely to clot, according to the article.

A clot inside a coronary artery blocks blood flow to part of the heart, causing heart muscle cells to begin to shut down and die — a heart attack.

The article cites the following signs of a heart attack:

  • squeezing in the chest
  • shortness of breath
  • pain that radiates up to the left shoulder and down the left arm, or a cold sweat
  • jaw pain
  • lower back pain
  • unexplained fatigue or nausea
  • anxiety

The article suggests that those who are out of shape hire a young person, maybe a neighbor's kid, to do their shoveling.

Generations of New England kids have made money shoveling snow.

It's a tradition to be kept alive and maybe keep people alive.

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