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Identifying the Riskiest Days of the Week for Heart Attacks: A Study


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A scientific study has shown that more serious heart attacks occur on Monday than on any other day of the week.

An analysis of medical records shows that the likelihood of a heart attack on the first day of the work week is 13% higher than one would expect.

Researchers at the Belfast Health and Welfare Trust and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland analyzed data from 10,528 patients on the island of Ireland: 7,112 in Ireland and 3,416 in Northern Ireland.

Participants were hospitalized between 2013 and 2018 with the most serious type of heart attack known as ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), which occurs when a large coronary artery becomes completely blocked.

The team found a sharp increase in heart attacks containing myocardial infarction at the beginning of the workweek, with the highest rates observed on Monday.

Sunday was also better-than-expected, according to findings presented at the British Cardiovascular Society (BCS) conference in Manchester.

Researchers have not been able to fully explain the phenomenon of “Blue Monday” or “Gloomy Monday”, which is associated in the minds of the British with the most depressing day of the year, but this study may strengthen belief in this phenomenon.

Previous research has suggested that the possibility of heart attacks on Monday is linked to the circadian rhythm, which regulates the body’s sleep-wake cycle.

A heart attack requires emergency diagnosis and treatment to minimize damage to the heart, which is usually done with emergency catheterization, a procedure to reopen a blocked coronary artery.

Cardiologist Dr Jack Laban, who led the study at the Belfast Health and Welfare Trust, said: “We found a strong statistical association between the start of the work week and the incidence of ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction. This has been described before but remains intriguing. The cause is likely to be multifactorial, however, based on what we know from previous studies, it is reasonable to assume a circadian component.”

Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, Medical Director of the Belfast Health and Welfare Trust, said: “This study adds to the timing of particularly severe heart attacks. Noting that it will be necessary to understand the circumstances associated with specific days of the week that increase the likelihood of serious heart attacks, and that “it could help clinicians better understand this deadly condition so we can save more lives in the future.”

Source: Independent

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