PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Many will be indulging in their favorite foods and drinks this holiday season, but overindulging can lead to a condition doctors call ‘Holiday Heart.’  

“One thing that’s been learned recently is that there are more heart attack deaths in the week between Christmas and new years than any other week of the year, ” said Dr. Paul Tamburro, a cardiologist at Ascension Sacred Heart.

Holiday heart can be caused by ‘binge drinking’ and other unhealthy habits that lead to an irregular heart rhythm called “atrial fibrillation”. 

Doctors urge you not to ignore symptoms that can include chest pain, difficulty breathing or an irregular heartbeat.

“During the holidays people tend to neglect symptoms,” said Dr. Tamburro. “You don’t want to disturb your family, you’re not in a situation where you’re able or willing to seek medical care so people put it off. That’s one of the saddest things about what we do over the holidays. We see people come into the hospital extremely sick, but if they had shown up earlier they might not have been in such a dire situation.”

However, you can still enjoy all your favorite foods and drinks in moderation. The holidays may even cause increased stress, which can also lead to holiday heart.

“Don’t let the stress overwhelm you,” said Dr. Tamburro. “Stick to your exercise regime, meditate, box breathe whatever works for you. Remember the reason for the season.”

It’s also recommended that everyone be trained in Hands-Only CPR, you may have to save a life this holiday season.