UPPSALA, Sweden — Mondays can be stressful for many of us as the work-week cycle begins again, but could the dreadful day actually be harmful to our health? A new study finds that more heart attacks take place on Mondays and fewer on weekends.
People are also less likely to suffer an attack during the summer than they would in the winter, the study shows.
Researchers from two universities in Sweden sought to determine whether certain days and periods of the year were linked to greater incidences of myocardial infarctions (MIs), more commonly known as heart attacks.
The authors used a nationwide study of Swedes from every hospital in the country, noting the date of each heart attack treated at the medical centers between 2006 and 2013. More than 156,000 people suffered heart attacks during the period. They also recorded when patients first noted feeling the symptoms associated with MIs.
Researchers found that more stressful time periods, such as Mondays and winter holidays, showed a greater frequency of heart attacks. Conversely, hospitals saw fewer patients suffering from MIs on Saturdays and Sundays, as well as in the month of July — when people are more likely to be taking part in enjoyable activities and stress levels are reduced.
“Our study seem to suggest that psychosocial demands on behaviour influences basal biological systems, even to such an extent that they may be potential triggers for MI,” says lead author John Wallert, a PhD student at the university, in a news release.
Wallert notes that other factors like temperature and air pollution could also play a role with heart attacks during specific time periods.
“With that said, it is now more probable that stress explains a substantial portion of the fluctuation over time in population MI rates than it was before our study,” he adds.
The study’s findings were published in the American Heart Journal, featured in the September 2017 edition.