Kitchissippi Ward Councillor Jeff Leiper is recovering in hospital from a heart attack suffered when he was shovelling snow. 

The councillor, who is 48, said he suffered the attack as a result of a blocked blood vessel. He was given an angioplasty and is on his way to a full recovery. But he said he will be take some time to recuperate.

Leiper said he has smoked for 30 years and now plans to quit as a result of the incident.

News reports say a 65 year old Ottawa man also suffered an attack digging out from under the massive snowfall that hit the region Tuesday night and Wednesday.

Shovelling snow and heart attacks seem to go hand in hand. A 2017 study, reported in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, detailed the connection between shovelling snow and heart attacks­. Cold weather also does seem to increase the risk when shovelling.

While men have a higher risk of suffering from a heart attack during snow removal, age does not play a factor, the study showed. Hospital admissions showed a 16 per cent increase on days with a snowfall and the number of heart attack related deaths increased to 34 per cent a day after a snowfall of more than eight inches.

The study also suggests people with a higher risk of heart attacks should consider refraining from shovel snow for their own safety. Ottawa Public Health and Ottawa Paramedic Services tweeted out tips and warning signs for heart attacks.  Their advice: take it easy, help out your neighbours and push,­ don’t throw, the snow to avoid back injuries and other health consequences.