Sunrise Is a Dangerous Time for Your Heart

Heart attacks in the morning cause more tissue damage

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) It probably goes without saying that there is never a good time for a heart attack, but it appears that heart attacks are worse if they happen during certain times of the day.

A heart attack can cause 21 percent more damage if it happens in the morning, according to a recent study. People who had heart attacks between 6am and noon are more likely to have larger areas of dead tissue in their heart.

"Heart attacks are more serious in the morning."

Spanish researchers wanted to find out how the time of day of a heart attack affected the amount of dead tissue in a patients heart. They looked at data from more than 800 patients who had suffered an ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) - a type of heart attack that happens when blood supply has been blocked for a long time.

It was already known that heart attacks are more common when people are waking up. However, less was known about how much damage could be caused by these morning heart attacks.

Even though more research is needed to confirm these findings, researchers now have a better idea of how serious these heart attacks are. The study's authors write that these findings could change how doctors work with patients to protect them from heart attacks.

The Study

  • The majority of patients (269) suffered a heart attack between 6am and noon
  • The heart is likely to have 21 percent more dead tissue after a heart attack between 6am and noon
  • If a patient suffered a STEMI in the front wall of the heart, the amount of dead tissue was greater than that of a patient whose heart attack happened in another part of the heart
Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
April 28, 2011
Last Updated:
April 29, 2011