Fri Dec 14, 2018, 08:38 AM

Heart attack risk highest on Christmas Eve, study says

The team of researchers, led by David Erlinge, professor of cardiology at Sweden's Lund University, examined data from more than 280,000 people who were hospitalized in Sweden due to a heart attack between 1998 and 2013.

According to the study, peak risk occurred around 10:00 pm on Christmas Eve. On that day, the risk of a heart attack was "37 percent higher than during the control period," which accounted for two weeks before and after a holiday.

Risks were also higher on Christmas and New Year's Day, but not New Year's Eve. The study said that it was more likely to manifest "in older and sicker patients, suggesting a role of external triggers in vulnerable individuals."


While the scientists said they did not have enough information to determine the cause for the heart attacks, they did have a hunch.

"Previous meta-analyses have shown that acute experience of anger, anxiety, sadness, grief and stress increases the risk of myocardial infarction and thus possibly explains the higher risk in our study," the scientists said.

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