With temperatures still high in many parts of the world, you should take extra caution if you are on certain medications as they could put you at an increased risk of getting a heart attack, new research suggests.
High risk medication
In a study published in Nature Cardiovascular Research, researchers from Yale University and the German Research Center for Environmental Health found that certain medications meant to protect your heart, could actually make you more susceptible to getting a heart attack. They arrived at this conclusion after studying 2,494 heart attacks cases in Germany within a 13-year period.
Comparing these cases to use of medications that typically protect heart health, including aspirin and beta blockers that treat high blood pressure, they found that people who took these medications were 63-65% more likely to have a heart attack on hot days, compared to more moderate temperature days. According to the research,
Users of these medications may be more vulnerable than non-users to non-fatal MI risk due to heat exposure.
More clarity needed
Although the researchers were unable to determine if the drugs themselves are to blame for this heightened risk, they suggested it could be because people who are taking those medications are already at higher risk of heart problems.
Interestingly, they found that that young people, who generally had better heart health, were more at risk of heat-related heart attack than people in their 60s and 70s if they took the medications.
We also found that these effect modifications were stronger among younger patients (25–59 years), who had a lower prevalence of pre-existing coronary heart disease (CHD), than among older patients (60–74 years).
Under 60s were also found to be three times as likely to have heat-related heart attacks if they took statins, medications to lower cholesterol.