Merry Christmas Coronary- What’s causing the rise in heart attacks during the holidays?

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Guns!... Monsters!... Terrorism!... But the scariest of all… Christmas?

That’s right, the holidays are one of the biggest killers and you probably didn’t know it-

This time of year produces a phenomenon known as the “Merry Christmas Coronary” that shows a massive spike in heart-related deaths on Christmas and New Years.

Medical pros used to think that it was all about cold weather, but the American Heart Association just published a study that looked at New Zealand and noticed the same exact trend- with a 4% rise in holiday heart deaths.

However, Christmas Down Under is in the summer- so the cold can’t really be the cause.

So what’s the real reason for this deadly season?

“Patients are smoking more, they’re drinking more, they’re eating more fatty foods and they’re also ignoring symptoms because they have friends and family over and that would interrupt their natural day,"said Dr. Rohan Wagle, a cardiologist at Kelsey Seybold Clinic.

But until more studies are completed, there’s no real way of knowing what the cause is – but that’s no reason you shouldn’t do everything you can to keep your ticker ticking.

“Take things in moderation. Make sure your portion sizes are smaller so that you can enjoy those things that you don’t normally enjoy during the year, but don’t do it excessively and don’t do it every day during the holidays," noted Wagle.

So while you and the fam gather ‘round the Christmas tree and Thanksgiving turkey, just remember to be more like the Grinch, and let the Christmas spirit grow your heart three sizes this Christmas.