April 27, 2011

Morning heart attacks ‘more dangerous’ says study

Man gets chest painNew research claims heart attacks in the morning are likely to cause more damage to your heart than an attack at other times of the day. We say whatever the time, call 999 straight away.

Scientists in Spain looked at the time of day heart attacks occurred and the level of enzymes raised afterwards as they are an indicator of damage to the heart muscle. They found that people who had a heart attack between 6am and 12 noon had 20 per cent more damage to their heart muscle than people who had heart attacks later in the day.

Our senior cardiac nurse, Judy O’Sullivan, said: “This study provides some interesting observations on the association between the time of day a heart attack occurs and the degree of subsequent damage to the heart muscle.

“The authors claim that early morning heart attacks are more likely to result in greater heart muscle damage than those that happen later in the day. However further research is needed before we can draw firm conclusions.

“Regardless of the time of day, the quicker someone having a heart attack is treated, the less the damage they will have, which is why it is essential that anyone who experiences heart attack symptoms should call 999 immediately.”

The study is published in the British Medical Journal Heart.