So how does the winter affect your AF?


So today we had a frosty start and it got me thinking. How will my AF be affected by the cold weather, what if I get a cold, how will that affect it? Will cold air bring on an attack? So I thought I'd ask those of you on here who have had a winter or two with AF to share if you please would just how it affected you. I know your experience is your own but I'm very interested to see if there is an affect by cold on AF. Thank you!

12 Replies

  • Ps I had flu and pneumonia jab this week.

  • I've been abroad in the hot, say up to +37C, and also worked in -18C outside. Can't say I've noticed any difference for me in cold or hot weather.

  • Julie,

    I too have had my flu jab and pneumonia jab over the last two weeks, no side effects. I'm 72, had pAF since Jan 2010, summer and winter - no impact at all. Still work, outside, both in summer and winter and in all weathers - no impact.

    I have also visited Australia in temps over 33 degrees - no impact at all.


  • Winter will bring its ups and downs for sure but if you don't think about it nothing bad will happen. You feel rubbish with a cold anyway so AF seldom makes it any worse. Do all the usual things . plenty of fluids. stay warm etc. Many people have AF all the time remember and they manage.

  • Thanks to all for replies. Sounds like I don't need to hibernate just yet. I feel more positive due to your words.

  • Get the flu shot ! I didn't get one last year and got the flu. I had a fever, body aches and sore throat for over a week. Was awful and worse part had AFib for three days. My Naturopath said she wasn't surprised because the inflammation can cause AFib symptoms. I will take my advice this year and get my flu shot and also got lots of rest and try to stay away from people with colds, not easy with having three grandchildren! Good health and stay warm, Gracey

  • Strangely enough, in nine years of AFib, winter is the time I have least episodes - I'd say that December and January are the months when I do best. It's not too bad during summer either, with June and July being among my better months. No, it's when the seasons are changing that I tend to suffer most - February, March and April and September and October.

    I'd say it was just coincidence if I'd only had AFib for, say, three years, but nearly a decade is a long time and most years work out the same - obviously, having a yearly flu jab must be a contributory factor to my relatively AFib free winters.

  • How individuals differ! For me, heart problems always increase in winter. The change from persistent relaxing warm weather to always cold really gets to me. But it is probably related to me, my living conditions, and my stress level.

    If, pre-AF, you reacted badly to cold, then that will continue, and will mean you are stressed out, and stress is a major part of AF for some people.

    Under medical advice a few years ago I was very careful about using sunscreen, then we noticed I had some bad winters. Happened to read about vitamin D, and, sure enough, even though living in a Mediterranean country, I was near to the diagnosis of rickets! So, I now take Vitamin D, but, in moderate dosage -- low enough to steer well clear of influencing other stuff like Calcium levels.

    Feeling perpetually cold + another stress factor were in my case the initiators of AF. But, I have seen people really flaked out and stressed by warm weather (25C) that I find delightful. We are all different.

  • I used to find cold weather brought on the PAF. Could be due to adrenalin burst or narrowing of the arteries. I am no expert but certain somebody will be able to explain if this is a factor.

  • I am in persistent AF.

    For me the summer was awful and a nightmare.

    I did feel the cold badly last winter, which is the first time ever. I first put on gloves about 4 weeks ago (and I'm in the south a bit north of London). Already at night I am going to have to put the second layer of the duvet on to take it to a 13. As a comparison prior to AF I used to keep the 9.0 on all winter.

    My hands and toes get cold very easily and the heart does bump along a bit more so to speak. However when I saw the Heart valve Registrar about 6 weeks ago he said that with being in persistent AF typically there is a 30% reduction in circulation and in my vase that could be up to 50%. I never had heard that before but that in itself would explain coldness, etc particularly in extremities such as feet and hands. Ig=f you then add the contribution from the medicines such as warfarin (and possibly other anticoagulants - I am not sure), Bisoprolol and the like it is no wonder we have cold limbs!!

  • I have PAF and it is usually much worse in the winter.

  • I have to be carefull if I go cycling when I have AF in very cold weather. I find I cannot cycle fast enough to warm myself up when in AF. Also the blood is not pumping round as efficiently as normal. Particularly a problem below 5C and if there is strong wind chill. Have to stop and try and warm up before I get going again. Once I get going wind chill kicks in again and I get cold. Struggled to get home sometimes so now avoid going out if it is very cold. Particularly avoid isolated places eg moors. I guess this might also affect hill walkers with AF.

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