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Snow Business

Shoveling snow increases the risk of cardiac arrest

If you live in Buffalo, take note: Shoveling snow could be dangerous for your health.

A study from the U.S. Nationwide Children's Hospital found that 1,647 people died between 1990 and 2006 from cardiac injuries related to shoveling snow. The BBC estimates that 100 Americans die shoveling snow every winter, and two have died so far in Buffalo, New York.

Barry Franklin, a cardiologist at William Beaumont Hospital in Michigan, told the BBC that young men's heart rates and blood pressure increase more during snow shoveling than during treadmill exercise. "Combine this with cold air, which causes arteries to constrict and decrease blood supply, you have a perfect storm for a heart attack," Franklin told the BBC.

Franklin advises anyone over 55 not to shovel snow, and he says that pushing snow, rather than lifting it, will decrease your risk of heart attack. And take regular breaks to go inside and warm up to give your arm muscles a rest.