|Morning Heart Attacks: Why They're More Common|
by Richard N. Fogoros, M.D.
QUESTION: I've heard something about most heart attacks occurring early, probably in relation to early-morning workouts and water intake. If a connection does exist, could you please explain what it is, or how it works?
The risk of having a heart attack is about 40-percent higher between 6 a.m. and noon. Other cardiac events, such as cardiac arrest and stroke, are also more likely in the morning.
We're not positive why this is, but there are some strong theories about what contributes to it:
In any case, no matter what time it is, heart attacks don't happen at all in people who don't already have coronary-artery disease and aren't an ant's eyelash away from sudden coronary-artery blockage. Therefore, the key to preventing this phenomenon is not (for instance) to drink extra fluids at night; it is to control aggressively any risk factors you may have for developing coronary-artery disease in the first place.
Last updated and/or approved: June 2010. Original article appeared in spring 2007 former print magazine. Bio current as of spring 2007. This article is not meant as individual advice. Please see our disclaimer.