Two weeks ago, as a deadly polar vortex plunged much of the country into record sub-zero temperatures, we were reminded once again of the stress that extreme weather puts on your heart.

Research shows that the risk of having a heart attack increases by 7% for every 18°F drop below 73°F. If temperatures go below 0°F, that’s at least a 30% increased risk!

The chance that you’ll be nearby when a friend, loved one or coworker is having a heart attack dramatically increases when the temperatures are extremely low or extremely high. Should that happen, do you know what to do?

  • Would you stand there paralyzed, fearful you might “do the wrong thing”?
  • Would you unwittingly assure the person, “It’s probably not a heart attack”? Big mistake! See why here.
  • Would you kindly offer to drive the person to the emergency room, unaware that the ride would INCREASE the victim’s chances of dying?

Sadly, thousands die every year from heart attacks because someone nearby didn’t know what to do, and many more die in the emergency room due to inadequate or delayed care. If you’re not sure what to do on the scene of a heart attack, here’s lifesaving advice from a leading cardiologist.

Also know that getting the right care once the ambulance comes is critical to improving chances of survival. You can’t breathe easy because a heart attack victim is finally under “professional” care. The patient still needs a strong health-care advocate, and you can read this disturbing true story to learn why.

Heart disease is the #1 killer, and we’re all in this battle together. Let’s have each other’s backs…make that hearts!