Daylight Savings Time has spurred a large number of debates over time, with various arguments being brought against it, such as health and safety concerns. Guatemala voted against it back in 2008, claiming that if people left their homes while it was still dark outside, they would be exposed to violent crimes.
Now a recent study has revealed that turning the clock forward or backward actually increases the risk of ischemic stroke. These findings were made public on Monday and the full study will be presented at the 68th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, which will take place in Vancouver between 15-21 April 2016.
Since other studies have already proven that disturbing a person’s circadian rhythm poses a risk of ischemic stroke, a group of researchers wanted to discover whether daylight savings time was indeed a part of this equation.
Jori Ruuskanen is one of the researchers involved in this study and he recently issued a statement about their findings. He explains that in order to conduct their investigation, they had to search through a decade-worth of data related to stroke in Finland.
After gathering all the necessary information, they started comparing the rate of stroke from 3,033 people hospitalized in the week following a daylight savings time transition with the rate of stroke from 11,801 people hospitalized two weeks before or two weeks after the event.
Their study concluded that the incidence of ischemic stroke was 8% greater in the first two days after the DST transition, with no differences being observed after two days.
Furthermore, cancer patients had 25% more chances of experiencing a stroke after DST than in any other period. This risk was also found in people older than 65, who had 20% more likelihood of suffering from a stroke immediately after the transition.
Nevertheless, the researchers’ study did not reveal an increase in the number of hospital deaths from stroke immediately after a DST transition.
According to Ruuskanen, scientists need to conduct further studies now in order to fully understand the connection between this transition and the incidence of stroke.
Ischemic stroke is one of the most common forms of stroke, amounting to 87% of all cases. It occurs when a clot blocks the blood from flowing to the brain.
Daylight Savings Time is the common practice of advancing clocks by one hour during summer months, so that people can experience daylight longer, thus increasing their productivity. It’s being done in many North American and European countries and even some areas from the Middle East.
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