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Losing an hour to daylight savings time may jeopardize individuals' heart health

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Individuals who have received unhealthy cholesterol test results in the past may want to exercise caution this weekend around daylight savings time. One expert says that heart attacks spike during this time of year.

University of Alabama, Birmingham cardiovascular researcher Martin Young said that heart attacks increase by about 10 percent during the Monday and Tuesday after clocks are moved ahead in the spring. The same is true when people lose an hour in the fall.

He said that it is not exactly clear why this happens, but he did point out that some research has suggested that moving the clocks may disrupt a person's circadian rhythm, cause sleep deprivation and result in changes in the immune system, all of which can impact a person's heart health.

For individuals who already have cardiovascular risk factors, such as high cholesterol, Young recommended getting out of bed a half hour earlier on the Saturday and Sunday of the weekend during which the clocks are set ahead. Furthermore, some light exercise on the following Monday and Tuesday before going into the office may help reduce heart risk.

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