People who experience heart attacks in the morning, tend to have more heart damage. Heart attacks that occur between 6 a.m. and noon cause 20% greater heart tissue damage, according to a recent study conducted at the National Centre for Cardiovascular Research in Spain.

What is STEMI and Why Does It Matter?

When blood supply to the heart is barred for a significant period of time, it's a dangerous condition known as ST segment elevation myocardial infarction. By using the levels of particular enzymes discharged in the body while the STEMI was occurring as an indicator, the researchers were able to figure out how much tissue damage had been caused by the attack. The most incidents of STEMI occurred between 6 a.m. and noon.

Why Are Mornings Riskier?

Further research is being conducted to uncover the precise reason behind the results of this study. The American Heart Association is in the process of conducting studies that appear to indicate that a morning surge in cardiovascular risk indicators is a common occurrence in humans, and is likely tied in some way to the cycle of the natural circadian rhythm of our species.

Know the Warning Signs

If you or your elderly parent are at risk for a heart attack due to a pre-existing health condition, it is helpful to be aware of this research because it points to a period of time when your heart is most vulnerable. During this time, you may want to avoid doing things that will tax your heart unnecessarily. It might also be a good idea to make sure you are more vigilant in the morning and that you are aware of the signs and symptoms of a heart attack so that you will be prepared in case of a cardiac event.

For more information on responding to heart attacks:

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