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Is Stroke Risk Increased by Daylight Savings Time?

By Greg Bridges, RN, MA, 9:00 am on

There are many different types of strokes, but an ischemic stroke, which occurs when a blood clot prevents blood from flowing to the brain, is the most common. New research by Dr. Jori Ruuskanen and a team of researchers in Finland have discovered that daylight savings time can actually affect a person’s risk for an ischemic stroke. How does this apply to Oklahoma post-stroke caregivers? Read on to find out.

Stroke Risk Increases Right After Daylight Savings Time

The researchers examined ten years of data concerning Finnish people who were hospitalized for strokes. Over 14,000 cases were researched that occurred in the two weeks before and after a transition. It was discovered that ischemic strokes were eight percent more common during the two days immediately after the time transitioned to or away from daylight savings. During the rest of the week after transition, stroke rates fluctuated, but the jump in stroke rates was not significantly higher.

Certain Groups Have Greater Risks

The study also found that the effect of daylight savings time on strokes remained the same for men, women, rural people, and urban people. However, people who had cancer had a 25 percent higher chance of having a stroke right after daylight savings time. People over the age of 65 also had a higher stroke risk rate of 20 percent in the two days following the time transition, which means that seniors seem to be at greater risk of stroke during this time period.

Understanding This Occurrence

The study authors believe that strokes are more common right after clocks are turned forwards or backwards because this transition disturbs sleep cycles. The natural circadian rhythm of the body governs sleep, but when it is altered suddenly, sleep is disturbed. When people are trying to adjust to a new sleep pattern and circadian rhythm, they have a greater risk of stroke. This study provides valuable new information that further links sleep cycles to stroke risks.

Should your loved need help recovering from stroke, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Oklahoma. We provide comprehensive post-stroke home care Oklahoma seniors need to quickly and efficiently recuperate in the comfort of home. Our compassionate stroke caregivers help seniors with personal care and mobility assistance in addition to offering the encouragement and companionship our clients need for overall wellbeing. Call today at 405-285-4191 to learn more about our premier post-stroke services and schedule a free consultation.