For otherwise fit, active men, handling the heat requires no more than knowing their limits and drinking enough fluids. But what about men with heart conditions? "They are going to be more sensitive to the heat," says Dr. Joanne Foody, director of cardiovascular wellness services at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital. "They may just need to limit their activities to a greater degree."
High temperatures can put a man with heart issues at higher risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. In addition, certain heart medications-like beta blockers, diuretics (water pills), and nitroglycerin-can lower tolerance to heat.
Men concerned about the hazards of heat should discuss it with their doctors, Dr. Foody advises. "This is particularly important when they go on vacation and try to do activities they are not used to doing in a warm climate."
Here are some simple precautions for dealing with hot weather:
Warning signs of heat stress include muscle cramps, fatigue, weakness, confusion, lightheadedness, nausea, labored breathing, chest discomfort, and a rapid or erratic pulse.
Read the full-length article: "Hearts and heat: Take common-sense steps to stay safe this summer."
Also in the July 2014 issue of the Harvard Men's Health Watch:
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