Wednesday 21 March 2018

Risk of heart attack jumps after clocks spring forward

People are at increased risk of heart attacks for two days after the clocks go forward, warn scientists.

The risk of having a heart attack today, the day after Sunday's daylight-saving time change, jumps by 10pc because your body clock is altered.

Scientists in the United States said the schedule disruption coupled with sleep deprivation results in the risk of suffering a heart attack peak.

"The Monday and Tuesday after moving the clocks ahead one hour in March is associated with a 10pc increase in the risk of having a heart attack," said Associate Professor Martin Young from the Division of Cardiovascular Disease.

"The opposite is true when falling back in October. This risk decreases by about 10pc."

The Sunday morning of the time change doesn't require an abrupt schedule change for most, but heart attack risk peaks on Monday when most people rise earlier to go to work.

Prof Young said: "Sleep deprivation, the body's circadian clock and immune responses all can come into play when considering reasons that changing the time by an hour can be detrimental to someone's health.

"And, your reaction to sleep deprivation and the time change also depends on whether you are a morning person or night owl.

"Every cell in the body has its own clock that allows it to anticipate when something is going to happen and prepare for it.

"When there is a shift in one's environment, such as springing forward, it takes a while for the cells to readjust."

Luckily, the body's clock eventually syncs with the environment, Prof Young said.

Prof Young suggests waking up 30 minutes earlier on Saturday and Sunday to prepare for the earlier start on Monday.


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