Rockford doctors push for safety after treating snow shovelers for heart attacks

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Following the Stateline's first major snowfall of the year, doctors are reminding people to be careful in the snow.

Mazen Hadid, MD, of SwedishAmerican, says the hospital has seen an uptick of patients suffering from heart attacks while shoveling snow from last weekend's storm.

"When you're shoveling snow first the snow is pretty heavy... you have multiple layers on and you're breathing very cold air. All three things together stress your heart quite a bit and cause you to have a heart attack," said Hadid.

Hadid says risks of becoming ill due to weather-related conditions tend to be greater for people with high cholesterol, diabetes, or a history of heart disease. Men middle-aged or older could be at an even higher risk.

Experts say if you feel nauseated, dizzy or light-headed from snow shoveling, stop immediately and seek medical attention.

You can also dress for the cold weather by covering up your ears and nose and wearing gloves and a hat to avoid frostbite. Experts also say people who plan to shovel should stay hydrated, but avoid if they suffer from heart conditions.