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Monday, June 5, 2023

Deadly heart attacks are more common on Mondays, shocking study finds

Deadly heart attacks are more common on Mondays, shocking study finds

Marc LallanillaJune 5, 2023

Mondays seem to be bad for your heart, according to new research from the British Heart Foundation.

The most dangerous type of heart attack, known as a STEMI, is more likely to occur on a Monday than any other day of the week.

And researchers were surprised to discover an unusual uptick in STEMI heart attacks on Sundays, too.

“We now need to unpack what it is about certain days of the week that makes them more likely,” Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said in a news release.

“Doing so could help doctors better understand this deadly condition so we can save more lives in [the] future.”

There’s some evidence that the increase in STEMI heart attacks is related to stress hormones, according to experts.

An increase in the stress hormone cortisol may be behind an increase in heart attacks occurring on Mondays.
An increase in the stress hormone cortisol may be behind an increase in heart attacks occurring on Mondays.
Getty Images

“It is likely to be due to the stress of returning to work,” cardiologist Dr. Jack Laffan of the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, told the Daily Mail.

“Increased stress leads to rising levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which is linked to a higher risk of heart attack,” Laffan added.

A STEMI, or ST-elevation myocardial infarction, occurs when one of the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle is blockedaccording to the Cleveland Clinic.

Because of that blockage, the heart muscle begins to die, and the weakened heart can’t pump blood to the rest of the body.

A STEMI is normally treated with an emergency angioplasty, a procedure that reopens blocked arteries.  About 38% of people who go to the emergency room with blockage of the arteries to the heart were diagnosed with STEMI.

Strokes as well as heart attacks are more likely on Monday.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

This new study, presented at the British Cardiovascular Society conference in Manchester, England, adds to the body of research on the timing and causes of heart attacks. A 2005 study found that “Blue Monday” heart attacks were more common in men and were related to alcohol consumption.

“We know that heart attacks are more likely to happen in winter and in the early hours of the morning,” Laffan said.

“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,” Laffan added.

“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.”

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