Heat and particulate matter as a dangerous holiday combo – heart specialist: “Danger also in nature”

Heat and particulate matter as a dangerous holiday combo - heart specialist:

Cardiac patients should also find out about the air quality before traveling on holiday. Professor Heribert Schunkert from the Heart Foundation advises this and warns: “Fine dust triggers inflammatory reactions”

Cardiac patients should not underestimate higher temperatures even on holiday trips and protect themselves from excessive circulatory reactions and cardiac arrhythmias. “From a scientific point of view, we take the increasing heat waves very seriously and advise people with heart disease to adapt to the conditions that are challenging for their bodies – especially when there are other risk factors such as fine dust in addition to the high temperatures,” warns Professor Dr. Heribert Schunkert, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of the German Heart Foundation and Director of the Clinic for Adult Cardiology at the German Heart Center in Munich.

Cardiac Professor Schunkert: Fine dust enters the bloodstream through the alveoli and puts a strain on the heart

“After inhaling, the fine dust enters the bloodstream through the alveoli and also puts a strain on the heart. Particulate matter triggers inflammatory reactions and is therefore considered a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. However, patients often do not even realize that they are exposing themselves to increased fine dust pollution. Many only associate particulate matter with road traffic. But it could also be caused, for example, by large forest fires or intensive agricultural use,” says the Heart Foundation expert. “In this respect, you can be more stressed than you think even in the supposedly fresh air and in nature,” reports Schunkert. Information about air quality worldwide is also available on an overview on the Internet.

Keep an eye on blood pressure-lowering medication in hot weather

Incidentally, heat can also unbalance blood pressure. That is why heart professor Schunkert, who is also a hypertensiologist, advises patients with high blood pressure in particular to check their values ​​more often at very high temperatures and also to keep an eye on their antihypertensive medication.

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Heart Foundation advises: don’t pack your holiday program too full and don’t underestimate the stress of the journey

When planning a holiday, you should also make sure not to pack your holiday program too full, advises the German Heart Foundation. Especially after the stress of arriving, the body needs some rest and a certain amount of time to adjust at the holiday destination. In concrete terms, this means: Activity yes – but please use a sense of proportion, advises the Heart Foundation.

In the first few days of your holiday, do without strenuous mountain tours, long bike rides or extensive sunbathing. Moderate exercise is better, and you should avoid the midday sun if possible. Some caution is also required for heart patients when bathing, especially in cold waters – both when entering and exiting the water.


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