People with coronary heart disease should take beta-blockers to increase their survival and quality of life. If you’re at risk for a heart attack, aspirin and other antiplatelet medicines can help.
However, during hot weather events, when heart attacks are already more common, these safeguards could backfire. These cardiac drugs are being taken by a disproportionately large percentage of people who experience non-fatal heart attacks in hot weather, according to a study published on August 1 in the journal Nature Cardiovascular Research.
Patients who take these two medications had a higher risk, according to Kai Chen, an assistant professor in the Yale School of Public Health Department of Epidemiology (Environmental Health) and the study’s first author. “They should particularly take measures during heat waves.”
The use of air conditioning or a public cooling facility is one of these safety precautions.
Heart attacks can be triggered by air pollution, cold temperatures, and other external environmental variables. Hot temperatures may also have this effect, as evidence is mounting. It remains to be seen, however, which persons are most susceptible to these climatic extremes.
From May through September of 2001 to 2014, researchers investigated 2,494 cases of non-fatal heart attacks in Augsburg, Germany, that occurred during the hottest months (May through September).
Heart attacks were found to be more common in prior studies when participants were exposed to extremes of heat or cold. They also predicted that the rate of heat-related heart attacks would jump by 2 to 3 degrees Celsius once the earth had warmed (3.6 to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit).
The current study analyzed the pharmaceutical use of individuals before to their heart attack based on previous studies.
It was done in a way that allowed the patients to serve as their own controls in the data analysis. In this study, the heat exposure on the day of the heart attack and the same weekdays were compared to see whether there were any differences. The researchers looked examined the temperature exposure of patients who suffered a heart attack on June’s third Thursday in comparison to exposure on “control” Thursdays in June.
Two drugs have been linked to adverse events.
Heart attacks were more likely to occur on the hottest days when beta-blockers or antiplatelet medicines were used compared to control days. There was a 63% increase in risk related to antiplatelet drug usage and a 66% increase associated with beta-blocker use. There was a 75% increase in risk for those who used both medications. On hot days, non-users of these drugs had no higher risk of a heart attack.
It’s important to note that this study only demonstrates a correlation, not causation, between drugs and heart attacks. Patients may have been more susceptible to heart attacks in hot weather because of the medicines they were given, but it’s also plausible that their preexisting heart condition explains both the prescriptions and the increased risk of cardiac arrest.
The drug may be to fault, at least according to one piece of evidence.
To their surprise, researchers found that younger patients (25 to 59 years old) had lower rates of coronary heart disease than those who were 60 or older. Although older individuals had more severe cardiac disease, beta-blockers and antiplatelet medicines made younger patients more vulnerable to heat-related heart attacks.
Another indication that these two forms of drugs may put people at greater risk: Others have not shown a link between heat-related cardiac arrests and their drugs, for the most part (Statins were an exception.). Statins can increase the risk of a heart attack by more than triple when taken by younger people.)
Chinese researchers have hypothesized that some of the drugs may make it difficult to maintain a stable temperature. In the future, he intends to investigate these connections further.
Climate change may increase the risk of heart attacks for some persons with cardiovascular illness, according to the findings.
Nature Cardiovascular Research has published the study. The German Foundation for Heart Research, the University of Augsburg, and the University Hospital of Augsburg, Germany, provided funding for the study.
There were two authors: Professor Robert Dubrow and Alexandra Schneider, a researcher at Germany’s Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen. Susanne Breitner, Kathrin Wolf, Margit Heier, and Annette Peters, all of the Helmholtz Zentrum, were the other co-authors of this paper.
Jakob Linseisen of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München and University Hospital Augsburg, Timo Schmitz, Wolfgang von Scheidt, and Christa Meisinger of University Hospital Augsburg, and Bernhard Kuch of the Hospital of Nördlingen (Germa) make up the German Research Center.
Peters works at the German Research Center for Cardiovascular Research, Brietner works at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, and Heier works at the Universitätsklinikum Augsburg sburg.