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Study: Most Strokes Occur on Mondays

Lower Income, Less Educated at Risk -- but So Are Upper-Class Women

WebMD Health News

July 22, 2004 -- Gearing up for the week? Stay cool. Most strokes occur on Mondays, new research shows.

Several studies have found a pattern of ischemic strokes -- those caused by a blood clot --occurring on certain days, especially Mondays. But other studies have muddied the waters, pointing to Tuesday, Thursday, Wednesday, even the weekend days, as being most risky.

This study uses a large database -- 12,801 adults in Finland -- to set the record straight. Lead researcher Jakovljevic Dimitrije, MD, with the National Public Health Institute of Finland in Helsinki, reports his findings in the latest issue of the journal Stroke.

In this analysis:

  • Sundays had the least numbers of strokes.
  • Mondays brought the most -- especially among elderly men aged 60 to 74 years and those of lower income.
  • In women, Tuesday appears to be the day of the week that strokes occurred most frequently. There appeared to be a 5% increase in stroke frequency above that observed during the rest of the week.
  • Young, upper-class women (25- to 59-year-olds) had many strokes on Mondays, but the majority of their strokes -- 46% -- were on Fridays.
  • Older (aged 60-74), higher-income women had 49% of strokes on Wednesdays.

Without lifestyle information on these adults, researchers could not determine whether drinking and smoking factored into stroke or heart attack patterns, writes Dimitrije.

Heart attacks also happen more frequently on Mondays, Dimitrije adds. However, other studies have found no evidence of life-threatening irregular heartbeats or sudden death on Mondays.

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