BEACON TRANSCRIPT – A team of Finnish neurologist discovered that daylights savings might increase the danger of suffering from an ischemic stroke for a small part of the population. Daylight saving could up the risk of an ischemic stroke for some patient who have an underlying condition such as high blood pressure or cancer.
A new study from the Turku University Hospital, Finland, hints that setting our clock an hour ahead or behind may increase the chance of an ischemic stroke. The scientists working on the study analyzed 10-years-worth of data and looked over the health reports of over 3000 patients.
Doctor Jori Ruuskanen, the head researcher is also a neurologist working at the Turku University Hospital. It was he and his team who pointed out that time transitions could affect our body in a negative way.
When asked about the nature of his research, Ruuskanen responded that time changes such as daylight savings can tamper with our circadian rhythm, or the body’s internal clock. As we know from the biology classes, the circadian clock regulates all processes going on inside our bodies according to the day-night cycle.
For instance, thanks to the circadian clock, the body knows when to release certain hormones that can help us go to sleep. Moreover, the circadian rhythm also accounts for the way our bodies responds to either light or darkness.
Ruuskanen noted that if this rhythm is offset, it can have some nasty consequences for our bodies. The most common events linked to the disruption of the circadian rhythm are sleep issues. Insomnia, late night shifts both can take their toll on our sleep pattern.
The scientists noted that once the circadian clock is offset it can no longer ensure protection. He also noted that one of these consequences is the increased risk of suffering from an ischemic stroke.
Doctor Andrew Lim is a neurologist working at the Sunnybrook Sciences Center. For some time now, doctor Lim is studying the human circadian rhythm. Upon reviewing Ruuskanen’s project, Lim agreed that there is indeed strong evidence linking rhythm disruption to ischemic strokes.
The Canadian scientist pointed out that during sleep, the circadian clock instructs the body to perform various tasks for protection. For instance, during sleep, our blood pressure decreases. Lim notes that if our internal clock fails to regulate blood pressure during sleep, the risk of suffering from ischemic stroke increases.
And now, the numbers: According to the records, during 2004 and 2013, approximately 3000 people were hospitalized after suffering ischemic strokes, during the first week after daylight saving. Ruuskanen and his team noted that the number is increased to 12.000 after the second week.
All in all, the team from Finland noted that patients over 65 who also suffer from cancer are quite vulnerable. They’ve noted that the risk for this age group increases by 25 percent while for the rest of the population the risk is marginal at best.
Daylight saving could up the risk of an ischemic stroke, but more research is necessary to see if the two are directly related or not.