Deadly heart attacks are more common on a Monday, according to new research
Serious heart attacks are more likely to happen at the start of the working week than at any other time, according to new research.
A ground-breaking study being presented today at the British Cardiovascular Society (BCS) conference in Manchester has linked the start of the working week, particularly Monday, to a higher occurrence of severe heart attacks, known as ST-segment elevation myocardial infarctions (STEMI).
This type of heart attack, caused by the complete blockage of a major coronary artery, necessitates immediate medical intervention.
The research, conducted by the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust in conjunction with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, analysed data from 10,528 patients across Ireland.
The data, collected between 2013 and 2018, showed a notable spike in STEMI heart attacks on Mondays, with an unexpected rise also seen on Sundays.
Although scientists have yet to establish a definitive reason for this “Blue Monday” phenomenon, previous studies have suggested an association with the body’s circadian rhythm – the sleep or wake cycle.
Lead researcher, cardiologist Dr Jack Laffan, commented on the findings, stating: “We’ve found a strong statistical correlation between the start of the working week and the incidence of STEMI. This has been described before but remains a curiosity. ”
“The cause is likely multifactorial, however, it is reasonable to presume a circadian element.”
In the UK alone, there are over 30,000 hospital admissions annually due to STEMI, a condition that demands emergency assessment and treatment to prevent extensive heart damage.
This is typically achieved through emergency angioplasty, a procedure to re-open the blocked coronary artery.
Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, the Medical Director, emphasised the importance of ongoing research.
“Someone is admitted to hospital due to a life-threatening heart attack every five minutes in the UK, so it’s vital that research continues to shed light on how and why heart attacks happen,” he said.
“This study adds to evidence around the timing of particularly serious heart attacks, but we now need to unpick what it is about certain days of the week that makes them more likely.”
“Doing so could help doctors better understand this deadly condition so we can save more lives in the future.”
While the research presented sheds light on the timing of severe heart attacks, further investigation is required to fully understand and combat the ‘Blue Monday’ phenomenon.
The findings are expected to inspire further scientific exploration into the influence of circadian rhythm and other possible factors on heart health. Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com