Every year millions of people die of heart attacks. The sudden onset of a heart attack often delays intervention. However, in some cases, symptoms can be an early warning sign of a heart attack. Studies have shown that the deadliest heart attacks happen in the morning.
RISK OF DEATH MORE THAN 20 PERCENT
In a Harvard Medical School study, researchers found that a morning heart attack was associated with a 20 percent increase in heart tissue death. Findings from a 2011 study published in the journal Heart show that heart attacks that occur between 6 a.m. and noon are the deadliest. “In our study, events that occurred in the morning were associated with greater damage. The link is arguably quite strong,” said Borja Ibanez. The Harvard Medical School study was one of the first to establish a strong link between circadian rhythms and heart attack risk. Now there are many follow-up studies that reinforce the findings.
HIGH RISK OF BLOOD CLUGS WHICH CAN CAUSE A HEART ATTACK
A study published in Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism in 2020 found that disruption to the circadian system caused by modern lifestyles negatively impacts cardiovascular function. It is believed that the circadian system sends out higher numbers of PAI-1 cells in the morning, preventing blood clots from breaking down. The higher the level of PAI-1 cells in the blood, the higher the risk of forming a blood clot that can cause a heart attack. Research from Harvard Medical School found that patients who had a heart attack between 6 a.m. and noon had higher PAI-1 cells compared to patients who had a heart attack later in the day.
THESE SITUATIONS INCREASE THE RISK OF A HEART ATTACK
Professor Srinath Reddy warns that certain habits can increase this risk. If a person has several underlying coronary risk factors, does not sleep well, is dehydrated, and exercises, this can cause a rupture and cause the formation of a large clot. Therefore, there are two ways to combat the risk of a heart attack in the morning. The trick is to get a good night’s sleep and put off morning exercise.
LESS THAN SEVEN HOURS OF SLEEP INCREASES THE RISK
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains that adults who sleep less than seven hours a night have a higher risk of heart-related health problems. However, bearing in mind that sleep deprivation can contribute to blood pressure problems, which are known precursors to heart attacks, the focus here is on the quality and duration of sleep.
EXERCISES SHOULD BE DONE LIGHTLY
Those with a flexible work schedule are also advised to exercise in the afternoon or light exercise in the morning. Vigorous exercise can acutely increase the risk of cardiac arrest or death at the expense of blood circulation. “Chronic extreme sports training and participation in endurance events can lead to heart damage and arrhythmias,” says the Cleveland Clinic.