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Why is a heart attack more likely in the morning?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Heart attacks are three times more likely to strike in the morning than in the evening. Here’s why:

• Your blood pressure is highest in the morning because it rises quickly to get you ready for the day. In fact, your heart needs 50% more blood to go from being asleep to being awake. As that blood pulses through your blood vessels, the increased pressure can tear the vessel lining.

• Blood vessels are thicker in the morning. Just as our muscles and joints feel stiffer when we get up, our blood vessels are thicker and more rigid. It’s harder for them to bend and flex, which makes them more likely to build up plaque; combine that with high blood pressure, and it’s a recipe for artery rupture.

• Blood is thicker in the morning. The platelets in our blood, which help it clot, are stickier in the morning and more likely to stick to blood-vessel walls. Plus, the system that combats blood clots is not as active in the morning. When stickier blood hits the scars and tears caused by high blood pressure and stiff arteries, clots form, and the stage for a heart attack is set.

 

 

 



This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.