A Stitch in Time
Recent research finds that it may be best to have heart surgery after lunch
Roisin McGuigan |
Circadian rhythm – and its importance to human health – has received a lot of press lately. Not least because of last month’s announcement that the 108th Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine has been awarded to a trio of scientists who discovered the molecular mechanisms controlling it (1). Although it is becoming increasingly clear that we should pay more attention to our biological clocks, the ways in which they influence human health remain somewhat mysterious. Now, researchers at the University of Lille, France, have found that heart surgery performed in the afternoon appears to result in better outcomes than surgery performed in the morning. Notably, the team discounted procedures between 12 and 6am in an attempt to exclude the potential effects of tired staff with reduced efficiency. Previous research has found that the risk of heart attack is higher in the morning, with the heart working better in the afternoon (reviewed in (2)).
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- Nobelprize.org, “The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2017”, (2017). Available at: bit.ly/2hFP1yo. Accessed October 30, 2017.
- CJ Morris et al., “The impact of the circadian timing system on cardiovascular and metabolic function”, Prog Brain Res, 199, 337–358 (2012). PMID: 22877674.
- D Montaigne et al., “Daytime variation of perioperative myocardial injury in cardiac surgery and its prevention by Rev-Erbα antagonism: a single-centre propensity-matched cohort study and a randomised study”, Lancet, [ePub ahead of print] (2017).