Heat-related Myocardial Infarction May be Associated With Cardiovascular Medications

People that take antiplatelet and beta-response blocker medications to reduce the risk of a myocardial infarction (MI) may be at an increased risk during hot-weather events, according to a new study.1

The research was conducted using data from a registry of MI cases that took place in Augsburg, Germany from 2001 to 2014 during the region's warm season (May to September). A total of 2495 cases of acute MI were used in the study.

For data analysis, the heat exposure on days when a patient had a MI was compared with non-MI days during that same month, which acted as the control. The authors found that the chances of a heat-related non-fatal MI were increased by 63% among users of anti-platelet medication and increased by 75% for users of beta-receptor blockers. For non-users, the risk was lower and a MI was less likely to occur.

The authors noted that the chance of a MI was increased among patients aged 25 to 59 years who had a lower prevalence of pre-existing coronary heart disease (CHD) than patients aged 60 to 70 years who had a higher prevalence of CHD.

"We hypothesize that some of the medications may make it hard to regulate body temperature,” lead author Kai Chen said in a press release.2

While looking at the data, the authors found that most other types of heart medications did not show a connection to heat-related MIs when compared with these 2 medications. The only exception was statins.

“Further research is needed to disentangle effect modification by medication use from effect modification by pre-existing CHD,” the authors concluded.


—Jessica Ganga


  1. Chen K, Dubrow R, Breitner S, et al. Triggering of myocardial infarction by heat exposure is modified by medication intake. Nat Cardiovasc Res. Published online August 1, 2022. doi:10.1038/s44161-022-00102-z.
  2. Two heart medications tied to greater heart attack risk during very hot weather. News release. Yale School of Public Health; August 1, 2022. Accessed August 8, 2022.