Avoiding summer pain with angina

July 29, 2005

Hot weather may trigger angina, a serious, painful heart condition that affects 6.8 million Americans, many of them over age 65. Summer activities often add to the difficulty. Here are tips from the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association:

Hot weather can raise body temperature and lead to an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. Don't exercise in midday heat. Wear clothing that allows the body to "breathe" and body heat to evaporate.

Exertion can bring on an angina attack, so patients who are already including moderate exercise in their routines should transition slowly into an outdoor exercise routine. If angina occurs during the physical activity: stop, rest and take nitroglycerin if it has been prescribed.

For the many patients who rely on nitroglycerin to counter attacks of chest pain, keep it accessible during travel. The stress of airport lines, train delays and long car rides can trigger angina, so it's important to put nitroglycerin and other medications in a carry-on bag, in containers that are clearly labeled as prescriptions. Take physician and prescription information with you.

Use common sense at family outings. Avoid overexertion -- playing ball with grandchildren or eating too much fatty food -- at a picnic. If the gathering turns into a squabble, gently but firmly refuse to get involved or upset.

For more tips, visit www .LifeHeart.com or call 866-488-1212 for a free handbook.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.