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Shovelling snow 'causes heart problems and back injury'

Shovelling snow 'causes heart problems and back injury'
21st January 2011

Shovelling snow causes thousands of injuries each year, including heart problems, fractures and back injury, according to new findings.

The research, published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, looked at 17 years of data from the US and found that tendon, muscle, ligament and other soft tissue injuries were the most common.

While just seven per cent of the shovelling injuries were related to the heart, these made up all of the deaths resulting from snow shovelling.

In total, there was found to be an average of 11,000 people admitted to hospital in the US due to snow shovelling injuries each year.

Study researcher Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Ohio, said that the heart problems resulting from the activity are easily explained.

"Not only is the heart's workload increased due to shovelling snow, but cold temperatures also add to the chances of a heart attack," he said.

This comes after researchers at Duke University found that patients with heart failure who are also suffering from worsening depression are at a much higher risk of hospitalisation or death.

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