A study has found that there is a 13% increase in the occurrence of the most serious type of heart attack on a Monday. The study analysed data from 10,528 patients admitted to hospital with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction. The cause of the phenomenon, known as “Blue Monday,” is thought to be linked to the body’s sleep or wake cycle. The British Heart Foundation notes that the UK experiences over 30,000 STEMI hospital admissions each year. Emergency angioplasty is usually required to reopen the blocked coronary artery and minimise heart damage.
In line with a recent study, people are more likely to experience a serious heart attack on a Monday. The study, conducted in Ireland, analyzed data from over 10,000 patients who were admitted to the hospital with the most severe type of heart attack, known as ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). The results showed a 13% spike in STEMI rates at the beginning of the workweek, with the highest rates occurring on Monday and slightly elevated rates on Sunday.
This phenomenon has been dubbed “Blue Monday,” and while researchers have yet to fully explain it, previous studies have linked it to the body’s circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is the body’s internal clock that regulates sleep and wake cycles. It’s possible that disruptions to this rhythm, such as those caused by a change in work schedule or lack of sleep, could contribute to the higher rates of heart attacks on Mondays.
The British Heart Foundation reports that there are over 30,000 hospital admissions due to STEMI each year in the UK. STEMI requires emergency assessment and treatment to minimize heart damage, which is typically done through emergency angioplasty, a procedure to reopen the blocked coronary artery.
Cardiologist Dr. Jack Laffan, who was involved in the study, commented on the findings, “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, based on what we know from previous studies, it is reasonable to presume a circadian element.”
Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, added, “Someone is admitted to the 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. 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.”
It’s important to note that while the study found a correlation between Mondays and STEMI rates, it does not necessarily mean that Monday itself is causing the heart attacks. More research is needed to determine the exact factors that contribute to this phenomenon.
In the meantime, it’s crucial to prioritize heart health and take steps to reduce the risk of heart attack. This includes maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, managing stress, and getting enough sleep. If you experience any symptoms of a heart attack, such as chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, or lightheadedness, seek medical attention immediately.
Last but not least, the study’s findings suggest that people are more likely to have a serious heart attack on a Monday, and while the exact cause is unknown, it may be linked to disruptions in the body’s circadian rhythm. Further research is needed to fully understand this phenomenon and how to prevent it. In the meantime, it’s important to prioritize heart health and seek medical attention if experiencing any symptoms of a heart attack.
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