If you love getting out in the summer sun, you know that sometimes, you have to be careful. The heat and humidity can bring added danger—especially if you have heart disease. The heart attack risk calculator doesn’t account for it, but if you understand why heat and humidity are hard on your heart, you’ll be better prepared to protect yourself when the temperature rises.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the combination of heat and heart disease can be a deadly one. In fact, their researchers say about 25 percent of heat-related deaths are tied to the convergence of heat, humidity and heart disease. Older adults are even more at risk. People age 65 and older are more more likely to die from heat-related cardiovascular disease than the general population. African-Americans also have higher-than-average rates.
Most healthy people tolerate extreme changes in the weather without missing a beat. But if your heart is damaged, it may not be so simple. Let’s look at why heat and humidity can be hard on your heart, especially if you have heart disease, and what you can do to decrease your risk.