Heat, humidity and heart health: what we need to know

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A recent study found something pretty interesting. When the temperature and humidity levels get too high, our hearts start working harder.

This happens even before our body temperature starts to rise!

The scientists who made this discovery are sharing it at a big event called the American Physiology Summit.

Why is This Important?

So, why does this matter? Well, during hot spells or heat waves, more people suffer heart attacks. This is because the heat makes our hearts work extra hard.

Rachel Cottle, who is studying to get her doctorate at Pennsylvania State University, explained that they wanted to figure out exactly when this starts happening.

Once they know this, they can work out when it becomes dangerous for older people who are more at risk.

How Did They Do the Study?

The researchers invited 45 people in their 20s to take part in the study. These people walked slowly on a treadmill or did simple activities while they were in special rooms.

These rooms could be made to feel very warm and humid or hot and dry.

What Did They Find Out?

In the warm and humid conditions, they found that people’s hearts started working harder when the temperature reached 95 degrees F and the humidity was 65%.

However, their body temperature didn’t start to rise until the humidity reached 73%. In the hot and dry conditions, hearts started working harder at 113 degrees F and 19% humidity.

Body temperature didn’t rise until the temperature hit 118 degrees F and the humidity was 17%.

What Does This Mean For Us?

These results can help us decide when it’s too hot to be active outside. It can help us know when we should drink more water, stay in the shade, or go into air-conditioned places.

This information could also be used to decide when sports events need to be postponed, or when workers need to take more breaks.

So next time you hear it’s going to be a hot day, remember to take it easy, stay hydrated, and stay cool!

If you care about heart health, please read studies about how eating eggs can help reduce heart disease risk, and herbal supplements could harm your heart rhythm.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about how to heal heart scars after heart attacks, and results showing calcium supplements may increase earlier death in heart problems.

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