According to a study of brown fat, the risk of heart attack increases in cold weather due to a breakdown of the fat to produce heat energy within the body. The study revealed that as brown fat breaks down to produce heat, it increases the body's production of artery-clogging, low-density lipoprotein in mice and humans. "This might be particularly important for older people and those with prior heart problems who appear to be particularly vulnerable to cold effects," said Krishnan Bhaskaran, whose 2010 research found that 200 more heart attacks occur for each 1-degree Celsius temperature drop.

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