EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Boston and Beyond

December 24, 2013

'Tis the season for holiday heart syndrome

(Continued)

Phillips estimates that there are 2,000 extra deaths each year, mostly from heart-related problems, linked with Christmas and New Year’s. He says hospitals’ holiday staffing is a factor, with fewer doctors and nurses working and the most senior employees often on vacation.

Also, he said, in the rush leading up to the holidays, people tend to ignore symptoms and put off going to the doctor — which can be dangerous if heart problems or other serious illnesses are brewing.

The condition typically happens in otherwise healthy adults, and resolves within 24 hours, though teens aren’t immune.

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