Moving Clocks Forward An Hour Can Be Dangerous For People With Heart Problems

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clocks change and heart problems

Moving the clocks forward an hour can significantly increase the risk of having a heart attack or stroke for some people, according to a recent study.

Researchers say that putting the clock forward an hour in March could be dangerous for the health of more than a million people in Britain with heart conditions.

The Mail Online reports: A major study shows losing an hour’s sleep due to daylight saving increases hospital admissions for a serious heart rhythm condition known as atrial fibrillation.

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It causes an estimated 16,000 strokes a year. Now scientists fear that the one-hour loss of sleep is enough to leave some sufferers needing emergency treatment because the effect on their circadian rhythm – or body clock – makes their heart rate go haywire.

The study, by experts at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, backs up previous research suggesting heart attacks spike in the days after the clocks going forward. 

But moving them back an hour in the autumn does not appear to have the same effect, the scientists reported.

Atrial fibrillation develops when electrical activity in the heart goes haywire, causing it to beat irregularly. 

Symptoms include chest pain, dizziness and fatigue, but a significant number of sufferers have no idea they are ill until they have a stroke. 

Blood that should be pumped around the body begins to pool and thicken in the left ventricle. 

If a clot breaks away and travels up arrow blood vessels that feed the brain, it can block the supply of oxygen-rich blood, causing a stroke. 

The US team tracked 6,000 patients in their 60s over a sevenyear period. All the volunteers had atrial fibrillation that was treated with prescription medicines. 

The results, published in the journal Sleep Medicine, found hospital admissions with heart rhythm complications jumped around 25 per cent in the days following the clocks changing. 

Women were more affected than men.