How the time change can affect your heart
If you ask most people, Monday has long been considered the worst day of the week. Well, this may particularly hold true today, the day after Daylight Saving Time (DST), because your chance of having a heart attack increases.
A new study conducted by the University of Michigan ties DST to a rise in heart attacks. Researchers found a surge in heart attacks — 25 percent more compared to other days — in the first full workday after the “spring-forward” time change.
In addition, research published in the New England Journal of Medicine finds a spike in heart attacks during the first week of DST, as well as a slight drop in attacks during the first week after DST ends. Researchers tagged the “spring forward” results to sleep deprivation, which affects heart health. Conversely, the extra hour of “fall back” sleep promotes general well-being.
A Chicago cardiologist attributes the increased spike in heart attacks to the population of individuals who are already susceptible to heart disease. He further cautions that doctors have long known there is a direct correlation between sleep and heart health.
“In general, people are more prone to heart attacks on Mondays, especially the Monday after DST,” says Dr. Marlon E. Everett, a cardiologist with the Advocate Heart Institute at Advocate Christ Medical Center. “Often, stress, loss of sleep and the anxiety typically associated with starting a new work week attributes to increased heart attacks.
Energy conservationists estimate that more than 1.5 billion people in 70 countries around the world observe DST.
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