MehraVista Moment: Avoid a “Holiday Heart”

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MehraVista Moment: Avoid a “Holiday Heart”

MehraVista Moment

December 2016


Holiday Heart, a term coined in 1978 which refers to a potentially life threatening condition when the heart beats irregularly as a result of excessive alcohol consumption around holidays and other special events.


Chest pain.  Heart racing.  Heart palpitations.  Light headedness.  Shortness of breath.


This condition involves a person who may otherwise have a healthy heart but binge drinks around the holidays.  Other contributing factors include heavy eating, smoking, extra salt intake, dehydration, stress and cold weather.  Depression can also contribute to having an unhealthy heart.

Clinical Course?

The symptoms described above can result in visits to the emergency room.  The clinical course usually requires symptomatic treatment such as IV fluids, rest, etc. and will resolve itself in 24 hours.  However, in some instances the “Holiday Heart” can lead to congestive heart failure and stroke.  Research studies reveal December 25th, December 26th and January 1st have higher occurrences of fatal heart attacks.


  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Hydrate with water if drinking alcohol
  • Minimize heavy eating while drinking
  • Stop smoking
  • Avoid salt
  • Address feelings of sadness and stress

Contact MehraVista with any of the above or related concerns.


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