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Does the time of day affect your outcome from open-heart surgery?

Posted Monday, November 13, 2017 by Tyler Goldberg-Hoss

Who would have thunk it?

Researchers in France have recently published the results of a study that looked at the rates of complications in patients who underwent heart valve replacement surgery in the morning versus the afternoon.

The study involved observing about 600 patients who had such surgery for six years. The study found that patients who had surgery in the afternoon had half the risk of a major cardiac event (like a heart attack) as those who had surgery in the morning.

One of the authors of the study suggested that a person’s circadian clock is at least part of the reason. And this isn’t the first time that medical researchers have considered the time of day and how medical treatments work. Other studies have shown that the efficacy of certain cancer treatments and vaccines may be affected by the time of day when the therapy or medicine is given.

These findings may be useful in treating patients in the future. First, scientists are testing whether they can “trick” heart muscle into healing in the way afternoon patients heal regardless of day. Further, it may mean that higher risk patients should be operated on in the afternoon.

You can read an article on these findings here:

Why having surgery later in the day might be better for your health

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