For many, the holidays are a joyous time of year. But, it's also a time when heart-attack deaths peak. Christmas Day, the day after Christmas and New Year's Day are the most common days for heart-attacks to occur. "People tend to change their diets around the holidays and eat foods that are high in salt and fats," said Dr. David Jacob, Chief Cardiologist at St. Peter's University Hospital in New Brunswick. "Also, when the winter comes, it's common to cut down on exercise. Meanwhile, stress levels often increase as a result of finances and family get-togethers."

Over exertion in the cold months also can be a problem. "If you're shoveling snow and you aren't physically fit, that can be very dangerous," said Jacob. "That can cause the blood flow to constrict in certain areas, including the heart, which could already have disease and be very susceptible."

You can take preventative measures. "Eat healthier foods. Try not to over indulge and take smaller portions, drink alcohol in moderation and continue your exercise routine," said Jacob. "When it comes to stress, spread out your shopping so as not to cause financial strain. If you have certain family members and friends who cause you stress, time your visits accordingly."