(WHTM) — With warnings about COVID, RSV and the flu in the air, one thing people may not be thinking about is their heart. However, doctors say they should, since the holiday season is a risky time.

“Christmas to couple days after New Years, we see a lot of patients coming to the hospital,” UPMC cardiologist Dr. Bishnu Subedi said.

Subedi said there are many reasons for the spike in heart problems. A big one is the disruption to people’s routines.

“They’re not sleeping adequately, they’re under increased stress, they’re not taking their medications on time,” he said.

Another issue is people tend to consume more alcohol and eat a lot of foods high in fat, sugar, and salt.

“Even taking a little bit of extra salt in one single meal can increase the risk of hypertension, risk of heart attack,” Subedi said.

Certain health conditions can also increase people’s risk for heart attack or other heart problems.

“Uncontrolled high blood pressure, uncontrolled diabetes as well as uncontrolled cholesterol,” Lancaster General Health cardiologist Dr. Ross Biggs said. “Inactivity is one of the biggest ones I like to emphasize as well.”

Biggs said to keep a sharp eye out for symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, or rapid weight gain.

“I like to say any symptom basically from the upper abdomen to the jaw that comes, as long as it comes on with exertion and goes away with rest,” he said.

It is also important to seek medical care as soon as possible.

“People may put off their care for a little bit if they have a new symptom,” Biggs said.

However, Subedi said if there is a dangerous symptom, “It can save your life if you reach [the doctor] in time.”

Both doctors also said it is important to get vaccinated because COVID, RSV, and flu can all have complications that can affect the heart.