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If You're Prone to Heart Attacks, Be Careful of Mondays

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By Christian Webster - - 5 Mins Read
A person suffering from a sudden heart attack
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They may be more reasons to not like Mondays after new research was shared at the Manchester British Cardiovascular Society conference. The study highlights that individuals are more likely to experience a heart attack at the beginning of the workweek compared to other days. Specifically, individuals have a greater chance of experiencing a heart attack on Mondays.


The research was presented by doctors from the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, who gathered data from over 10,000 patients across the island of Ireland over a period of five years (2013-2018) to arrive at these findings. The data showed the number of individuals who had a heart attack on Monday among the 10,528 patients admitted to hospitals during this period.


While analyzing the content of the data, the doctors noticed that many cases of the most severe type of heart attack happened on a Monday. This most serious heart attack type is ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). STEMI occurs when a major coronary artery is completely blocked, leading to a massive heart attack. A review of this data gave the researchers hindsight on how many of the patients admitted within this period had heart attacks when the work week started. Apart from Monday, the researchers also found that cases of STEMI were more likely to happen on Sunday than was initially predicted. 


Despite the data revealed from this research, doctors are still unable to give a complete analysis of why cases of severe heart attacks happen at the beginning of the working day. Even previous studies haven't pinpointed the theory behind the increase in heart attacks on a Monday.

First respondents helping a patient into an ambulance
Heart attack patients should be helped immediately (Pixabay)

However, they have shown that the body's sleep and wake cycle contributes to this occurrence. More than 30,000 hospital admissions happen in the UK because of STEMI yearly. In most cases, doctors would have to use a delicate procedure to reopen the blocked coronary artery. This reopening procedure is normally performed with emergency angioplasty. 

Doctor's Reactions to the New Research 

Many researchers have spoken about heart attack causes and why heart attacks on Mondays are rampant. Cardiologist Dr. Jack Laffan, who led the research at the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, noted that despite their new findings, they still need to dig deep and find the root heart attack causes on Monday.


"The cause is likely multifactorial. However, based on what we know from previous studies, it is reasonable to presume a circadian element," he said. 


Professor Sir Nilesh Samani contributed to the new development, saying that more research must be done to uncover other necessary details required to help the public.


"Someone is admitted to 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 about certain days of the week make them more likely.  Doing so could help doctors better understand this deadly condition so we can save more lives in future," he added