Heart Attack More Likely Happen on Monday, Study Reveals
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VIVA – The dangerous heart attack is more likely to happen on Monday than on any other day, a research study has suggested. Analysis of health service records shows the likelihood of a heart attack occurring is 13 percent greater on the first day of the working week.
Researchers reveal it is likely to be due to increased stress as the pressure of working life ramps up after a relaxing weekend. Doctors at the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland analyzed data from 10,528 patients across the island of Ireland - 7,112 in the Republic and 3,416 in Northern Ireland.
They had been admitted to the hospital between 2013 and 2018 with the most serious type of heart attack - an ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) which takes place when a major coronary artery is completely blocked.
The researchers found a spike in STEMI heart attacks at the start of the working week, with rates highest on a Monday. There were also higher than expected rates on a Sunday, according to the findings presented at the British Cardiovascular Society (BCS) conference in Manchester.
Scientists have been unable to fully explain the 'Blue Monday' phenomenon. Previous studies suggesting heart attacks are more likely on a Monday highlighted an association with circadian rhythm - the body's sleep or wake cycle.
According to the British Heart Foundation (BHF), there are more than 30,000 hospital admissions due to STEMI each year in the United Kingdom.
The attack requires emergency assessment and treatment to minimize damage to the heart, normally performed with emergency angioplasty - a procedure to reopen the blocked coronary artery.
Cardiologist Dr Jack Laffan, who led the research at the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, said: "We found a higher chance of having a serious heart attack on a Monday. We know that heart attacks are more likely to happen in winter and the early hours of the morning,"
The same effect is seen in the event rate of strokes. Previous studies have also shown a higher rate of heart attacks in the days following the clocks going forward for daylight savings time.
"The exact mechanism for these variations is unknown but we presume it has something to do with how the circadian rhythm affects circulating hormones that can influence heart attacks and strokes," he explained.
He added: "It is likely to be due to the stress of returning to work. Increased stress leads to rising levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which is linked to a higher risk of heart attack,"