McLeod physician warns of heat dangers during summer months
Record high temperatures this time of year are the norm in our region and the American Heart Association, a global force for longer, healthier lives for all, and the McLeod Heart and Vascular Institute are urging people to take extra steps to protect their hearts. Precautions are especially important for older adults and people with high blood pressure, obesity or a history of heart disease and stroke.
“Temperatures exceeding 100°F or even temperatures in the 80s with high humidity can produce a dangerous heat index that can be hard on the heart,” said Dr. Alan Blaker, Executive Medical Director, McLeod Heart and Vascular Institute. “Heat and dehydration cause the heart to work harder, with the body trying to cool itself by shifting blood from major organs to underneath the skin. This shift triggers the heart to pump more blood, putting it under significantly more stress. Hydration helps the heart more easily pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles allowing the muscles to work efficiently.”