Cardiac arrests are more frequent than ever and can happen to anyone at any time. However, according to specialists, the majority of people only experience it in the morning. Why is that? We consulted experts who were able to decipher the cause of the disproportionately high occurrence of cardiac arrests and heart attacks in the early hours to assist us grasp the same.
According to Dr. TS Kler, Chairman (Fortis Heart and Vascular Institute), Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram, “We frequently see numerous heart patients come in with a cardiac arrest or a heart attack early in the morning.” The specialist claims that the body’s hormones are to blame for this. “Our body releases cytokinin in the early morning, about 4 am, which can lead to arrhythmia and raise the risk of sudden cardiac arrest,” he stated.
Our body’s internal clock is to fault, according to a study conducted by scientists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Oregon Health and Science University. Dr. Niti Chadha Negi, Senior Consultant Cardiologist, Head of Cardiac Electrophysiology, Metro Heart Hospital, Faridabad, concurred and outlined how our bodies have biological clocks that enable us to respond to our daily demands.
“We are more productive and aware during the day, while at night we are exhausted and ready for some much-needed sleep. This biological clock causes a spike in blood pressure and heart rate in the early morning hours in reaction to the morning sympathetic surge, he explained. The cardiovascular system is angrier in the mornings because to this increase in heart rates and blood pressure brought on by circadian cycles.
Dr. Anand Kumar Pandey, Director and Senior Consultant- Cardiology, Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, agreed that “circadian rhythms are to blame for deadly or near-fatal strokes or attacks in the early morning,” and he added that most cardiac arrests happen between 4 and 10 am when blood platelets are more sticky and increased adrenaline produced by the adrenal glands can cause plaque rupture in coronary arteries.
In the morning, the circadian system produces more PAI-1 cells, which stop blood clots from dissolving. The likelihood of a blood clot causing a heart attack or cardiac arrest increases with the amount of PAI-1 cells in the circulation, he continued.
The riskiest times for heart attacks and other cardiovascular emergencies, such as sudden cardiac death, aortic rupture or aneurysm, pulmonary embolism, and stroke, are in the morning and during the final stage of sleep, according to Dr. SS Sibia, founder and cardiologist of Sibia Medical Centre in Ludhiana.
Patients with cardiovascular disease have lower amounts of a key family of protective molecules in their blood in the morning, according to a different study done by Queen Mary University of London. This might make them more susceptible to blood clots and heart attacks during certain periods.
According to specialists, several risk factors that increase a patient’s likelihood of experiencing such an episode include diabetes, hypertension, and habitual smoking. “However, compared to previous generations, the chances of heart attacks and cardiac arrests at a young age are higher now. Dr. Negi continued, “Air pollution, erratic lifestyles, disrupted sleep-wake cycles, increased mental/psychosocial stress, alcohol consumption, and unhealthy dietary habits are all contributing factors to such increases in sudden cardiac arrests and the resulting increased incidences of sudden death.
The cardiologists advised getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep, leading a generally stress-free life, developing leisurely morning routines, and eating a nutritious diet for optimum heart health.