(The Canadian Press)

VIDEO: How to avoid ‘holiday heart syndrome’

Term coined in 1978 to describe influx of emergency room patients during the holidays

“Holiday Heart Syndrome,” a term coined in 1978, describes the influx of emergency room patients during the holidays suffering from irregular heart rhythms.

Atrial fibrillation feels like a quiver in the chest and may be accompanied by shortness of breath and fatigue.

Alcohol appears to be a major contributing factor, though salty foods, stress and lack of sleep can lead to the “perfect storm.”

The key to prevention? Says cardiologist Dr. Kevin Campbell: “Moderation in alcohol and eating. Getting plenty of exercise and plenty of sleep. And try to avoid big family discussions until after the holidays.”

KEEP READING: The perils of indulging teenagers’ wish lists

The Canadian Press

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