Afternoon cardiac surgeries result in better health outcomes

Women are more likely to die in the months after a heart attack than men because they face greater pressure to return to normal life a study found

Women are more likely to die in the months after a heart attack than men because they face greater pressure to return to normal life a study found

Half had surgeries in the morning and the other half had surgeries in the afternoon.

For example, the BBC reported, the risk of heart attack or stroke is highest early in the morning, while the heart and lungs are working at peak efficiency in the afternoon, which is why professional athletes commonly record their best performances in the mid-to-late afternoon.

Our internal clock - also known as circadian rhythm - drives large changes in the way the body works.

Undergoing heart surgery in the afternoon may be far safer than in the morning because it synchs up with the body's circadian rhythm, a new study suggests.

However, while this is compelling evidence, more research needs to be done before the link between heart surgery and time of day can be confirmed. "As a result, moving heart surgery to the afternoon may help to reduce a person's risk of heart damage after surgery", he added.

The risk of a major cardiac event was 50 percent lower among patients who had surgery in the afternoon than in those who had surgery in the morning.

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It found patients were twice as likely to have a heart attack or failure in the months after morning surgery. For those who had afternoon surgery, it fell to one in ten. Their findings revealed not only did the tissue from the afternoon group show less damage and fix more quickly, but that multiple genes linked to circadian rhythms were more active in the afternoon group, which shows the heart is also influenced by our body clocks.

WIKIMEDIA, ION CHIBZIIOpen heart surgery is linked to better patient outcomes when carried out in the afternoon, rather than in the morning, according to a study published yesterday (October 26) in The Lancet.

During year-long trials that ended in February 88 patients were randomly scheduled for heart valve replacement surgery in the morning or afternoon and monitored until they left hospital. These samples also revealed differential expression of 287 circadian clock-related genes between morning and afternoon samples.

Thousands of people now have open heart surgery in the United Kingdom, procedures which can take many hours and come with a number of risks.

Dr Mike Knapton, associate medical director of the British Heart Foundation, said: "Thousands of people now have open heart surgery in the UK".

"If this finding can be replicated in other hospitals this could be helpful to surgeons planning their operating list, for non-urgent heart surgery". The reasons have to do with circadian rhythms, and the risk of heart damage following operation, researchers report. "The study also suggests that modifying the genes responsible for this phenomenon could lead to the development of new drugs to protect the heart from damage during open heart surgery".

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