Heart attack extent regardless of the time of day

Heart attack extent regardless of the time of day

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Time of day has no influence on the extent of a heart attack

In the past, various scientific studies have indicated that heart attacks are more dangerous in the morning than at other times. But a new study has now shown that the extent of a heart attack does not depend on the time of day.

Scientists from the German Center for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK) at the German Heart Center Munich, Clinic at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), have found that the consequences of a heart attack are not determined by whether the heart attack occurs in the middle of the night or on broad daylight occurs.

Heart attacks most often between six in the morning and noon

Health experts say that around 300,000 people in Germany suffer a heart attack (myocardial infarction) every year. In the event of an emergency, the emergency services must be alerted immediately. The most dangerous attacks occur between 6 a.m. and 12 p.m., the DZHK reports in a press release.

Other cardiovascular diseases such as cardiac arrhythmias or sudden cardiac death also seem to follow a daily rhythm, and they also occur frequently in the morning or in the morning. In addition, some studies indicate that the time at which the symptoms start or the heart attack begins affects how heart disease progresses.

Privatdozent Dr. Hendrik Sager, Dr. Thorsten Kessler and her colleagues have now investigated this aspect in more detail. In a study with around 1,200 patients, the scientists examined whether the time at which the heart attack occurred also determined the consequences. In their study, published in the journal "Journal of Translational Medicine", they came to the conclusion that it does not depend on the time of day how a heart attack affects in the long term.

For their investigation, the researchers divided the day into four time slots: 0:00 to 6:00, 6:00 to 12:00, 12:00 to 18:00 and 18:00 to 12:00. According to the information, there was a so-called ST-elevation infarction (STEMI) in all examined cases and a closed blood vessel in the heart, namely a coronary artery, triggered the infarction. As a result, the heart is poorly supplied with blood and cardiac muscle cells die.

Injected substance made blood flow visible

As the experts explain, doctors use a catheter to open the closed blood vessel in a heart attack. Even before this intervention, all study participants were injected with a substance that accumulates in the heart wherever the blood flows. This enabled the doctors to determine which areas of the heart are not supplied with blood when the heart was subsequently recorded using a special camera.

Seven days after the procedure, the doctors re-administered the substance to assess which areas of the previously unperfused cardiac tissue could be saved by reopening the closed coronary artery. The scientists also determined how many of the patients were still alive after five years. This enabled them to draw conclusions as to whether the time of day when a heart attack occurs changed the long-term prognosis.

"Of course there are many factors that determine how severe a heart attack is," said DZHK scientist Sager. “About how long it takes until the vessel is reopened or which of the three coronary arteries is closed. We have factored out these factors. ”

Previous studies have provided conflicting results

"Mortality is greater in morning heart attacks and the chances of recovery are worse," it said in an older message from the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich (LMU), but studies have provided conflicting results as to whether the time of day affects infarct size and survival.

Sager sees the reason for this in the too small patient populations and the short observation periods of these examinations. With their extensive analysis, the scientists have now clearly clarified for the first time that the time of day does not influence the course of a heart attack and that doctors do not have to take the time of the heart attack into account when treating their patients. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Video: CNN The Last Heart Attack (August 2022).