Daylight Saving Time Shows Minimal Effect on Cardiovascular Well-being

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A recent Mayo Clinic investigation into the influence of daylight saving time (DST) on heart health suggests that the impact is likely minimal. In this nationwide study, researchers utilized an advanced statistical model to explore potential associations between DST and significant cardiovascular issues, such as heart attacks and strokes.

The study encompassed 36,116,951 adults aged 18 and above across the majority of U.S. states (excluding Arizona and Hawaii, which do not observe DST). The researchers specifically concentrated on the week immediately following the spring and fall DST transitions when clocks are adjusted either forward or backward.

Uncovering the Unlikelihood of Clinically Significant Cardiovascular Differences Linked to Daylight Saving Time

“We looked at five years across the U.S., and what we found is that it’s unlikely that there is a clinically meaningful difference in cardiovascular health due to daylight saving time,” says Benjamin Satterfield, M.D., Ph.D., a cardiovascular diseases fellow and lead author of the study.

An adverse cardiovascular event was documented when a person was hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of a heart attack, stroke, cardiogenic shock or cardiac arrest.

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During the spring and fall DST transition, researchers identified a total of 74,722 adverse cardiovascular events.

“These cardiovascular events are common health conditions, so this led to the question of whether this is more than would be expected if this had not followed the daylight saving time transition,” says Dr. Satterfield.

The observance of daylight saving time varies around the world. Countries that move clocks forward or back one hour may do so on different dates, and some do not observe daylight saving time at all.

Researchers note that the time change practice was intended to align social and work activities with daylight hours and to conserve energy using less artificial lighting. They underscore that making changes to the DST system out of concern for heart health is unnecessary.

“When decisions are made about whether to abolish daylight saving time, there is no need to take concerns regarding heart health into account,” says Bernard J. Gersh, M.B., Ch.B., D.Phil., cardiologist and senior author of the study.

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Dr. Gersh and Dr. Satterfield note that the debate over DST includes other aspects of health. For example, Dr. Satterfield said researchers are exploring DST’s effect on mental health and its effect on the rates of motor vehicle accidents.

Source-Eurekalert





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