After-hours heart attack? You're more likely to die, study finds - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

After-hours heart attack? You're more likely to die, study finds

Posted: Updated:

A heart attack is more likely to kill you if it happens on the weekend or at night, a new study shows.

It's not that off-hours attacks are more deadly — it's that hospital care may not be as timely, researchers reported Tuesday in the British Medical Journal online. 

"We all know that hospitals have fewer staff and resources at night," said the study's lead author Dr. Atsushi Sorita, a senior fellow in preventive medicine at the Mayo Clinic Rochester. 

"Patients do not get to choose when they have a heart attack," Sorita said. "I believe the health system should be designed so that it provides consistent care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week."

Sorita and his colleagues scrutinized data from 48 studies in a meta-analysis, which included nearly 1.9 million heart attack patients. The studies they examined were from the United States, Canada and Europe.

The researchers found that patients who showed up at the hospital during off hours were 5 percent more likely to die within 30 days of the heart attack than those who showed up during regular hours.

While 5 percent may not sound like a big number, the researchers calculated that it could translate into 3,800 preventable deaths each year.

Another finding: Once patients arrived at the hospital it took 15 minutes longer during off hours to receive artery-clearing balloon angioplasty.

There might be other explanations for the higher death rate, such as patients taking longer to get to the hospital on nights and weekends, but "the delay in door-to-balloon time is disturbing," said Dr. Joon Lee, chief of cardiology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

"Hospitals need to ensure systems, staffing and protocols are in place to ensure timely, consistent, high quality care for acute myocardial infarction 24 hours a day and 7 days a week," said Dr. Gregg Fonarow, co-director of the preventive cardiology program at UCLA.

Even more lives might be saved, Lee said, if people headed for the hospital at the first symptoms "instead of waiting an hour trying to decide if it's a heart attack."

  • NewsMore>>

  • Graysville Rehires Indicted Police Chief

    Graysville Rehires Indicted Police Chief

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:35 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:35:07 GMT
    COUNTY - RheaCOUNTY - Rhea
    GRAYSVILLE, TN. --(WRCB)-- Jason Erik Redden was back on the job today as the Chief of Police of Graysville, Tennessee.Redden, who currently faces 10 counts of official misconduct including theft, has had a tumultuous reign within the last year as the city's top cop.He's been suspended, reinstated, fired, and now rehired.And while some city officials lack faith in Chief Redden, you may be surprised at the level of support he has within Graysville. " I am not surprised they done it, in any oth...More
    GRAYSVILLE, TN. --(WRCB)-- Jason Erik Redden was back on the job today as the Chief of Police of Graysville, Tennessee.Redden, who currently faces 10 counts of official misconduct including theft, has had a tumultuous reign within the last year as the city's top cop.He's been suspended, reinstated, fired, and now rehired.And while some city officials lack faith in Chief Redden, you may be surprised at the level of support he has within Graysville. " I am not surprised they done it, in any oth...More
  • UPDATE: Dog’s condition sparks outrage, owner cited for neglect

    UPDATE: Dog’s condition sparks outrage, owner cited for neglect

    Friday, July 25 2014 7:49 PM EDT2014-07-25 23:49:19 GMT
    A suspected case of animal neglect in Chattanooga has sparked outrage among hundreds of local animal lovers.More
    A suspected case of animal neglect in Chattanooga has sparked outrage among hundreds of local animal lovers.More
  • Mudslinging intensifies in 3rd District Republican race

    Mudslinging intensifies in 3rd District Republican race

    Friday, July 25 2014 7:48 PM EDT2014-07-25 23:48:27 GMT
    It is two weeks away from voters heading to the polls in Tennessee for the primary election and the 3rd Congressional District race is one to watch.More
    It is two weeks away from voters heading to the polls in Tennessee for the primary election and the 3rd Congressional District race is one to watch.More
Powered by WorldNow
Can't find what you're looking for?

WRCB-TV
900 Whitehall Road
Chattanooga, TN 37405
(423) 267-5412

WRCB Jobs EEO | FCC Public Files

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WRCB. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.