Don’t Shovel Snow If You Have a Heart Condition

Person shoveling snow

VALLEY STREAM, NY – After this “record” snowstorm comes through, people with heart conditions and other medical ailments should try to avoid shoveling snow, which would  likely exacerbate their medical condition.

 “For anyone with known heart disease, or chronic high risk issues such as emphysema/smokers, diabetes, and hypertension and perhaps unknown underlying heart conditions, the act of shoveling heavy wet snow especially in wintry icy weather puts great stress on the cardiovascular system,” says David Friedman, MD, chief of heart failure services at Franklin Hospital in Valley Stream. “It’s relatively easy for these folks to suffer a heart attack in these situations.”

People who also haven’t shoveled snow in a while or who lead pretty sedentary lives may also be at risk of injury.

“People who are relatively sedentary or those who do only basic activities of daily living and have no regular physical fitness could be those at most risk,” Dr. Friedman says.

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