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Editor's Correspondence |

Might Cold Adaptation Reduce Cardiovascular Mortality During Winter?

Ferruccio De Lorenzo, MD, CCST; V. V. Kakkar, FRCS, FRCSE
Arch Intern Med. 1999;159(16):1954. doi:.
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Recently, a marked increase has been reported in the number of cases of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) during winter. Approximately 53% more cases were reported in winter than in summer.1

The mechanisms by which abrupt rupture of atherosclerotic plaques occur during cold exposure have been associated with an increased sympathetic activity that causes increased blood pressure, heart rate, and cardiac workload.2 In addition, increased serum lipids levels,3 plasma viscosity,4 fibrinogen values,3,5 factor VII:c levels,5 and platelet counts have been reported.4 Therefore, several authors have concluded that the effect of cold weather during winter on cardiovascular mortality was mediated by the increase of these risk factors.35

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