No Sign That Daylight Saving Time Harms the Heart

No Sign That Daylight Saving Time Harms the Heart
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Key Takeaways

  • Daylight saving time (DST) does not contribute to poor heart health, new research shows

  • The transition to and from DST did not cause a clinically significant increase in heart health events

  • The study tracked more than 36 million U.S. adults across five years

FRIDAY, March 1, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- The adjustment to and from daylight saving time might be a biannual annoyance, but there’s no evidence that it harms a person’s heart health, a new study finds.

Data from more than 36 million adults ages 18 and older found no connection between the twice-yearly time switch and heart attacks, strokes, cardiac arrest or heart disease.

"We looked at five years across the U.S., and what we found is that it’s unlikely that there is a clinically meaningful difference in cardiovascular health due to daylight saving time," said lead researcher Dr. Benjamin Satterfield, a cardiovascular diseases fellow with the Mayo Clinic.

For the study, researchers focused on the week directly after the spring and fall transition, when clocks either “spring forward” or “fall back” an hour.

They found more than 74,700 heart health events occurred during the spring and fall transitions.

"These cardiovascular events are common health conditions, so this led to the question of whether this is more than would be expected if this had not followed the daylight saving time transition," Satterfield said in a Mayo news release.

The Monday and Friday following the spring transition showed a slight increase in the rate of heart-related health events, researchers said.

However, the increase was not large enough to be clinically significant, they concluded.

The study was published recently in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Innovations, Quality & Outcomes.

"When decisions are made about whether to abolish daylight saving time, there is no need to take concerns regarding heart health into account," said senior researcher Bernard Gersh, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist.

More information

Johns Hopkins has more about daylight saving time.

SOURCE: Mayo Clinic, news release, Feb. 27, 2024

What This Means For You

People don’t have to worry about ill heart health resulting from the switch to and from daylight saving time.

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