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Chronobiol Int. 1999 Jan;16(1):33-49.

From a static to a dynamic concept of risk: the circadian epidemiology of cardiovascular events.

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Hypertension Unit, University of Ferrara, Italy.


A growing body of evidence substantiates that the occurrence of cardiovascular events in unevenly distributed in time, especially during the 24 h. These temporal patterns are indicative of temporal variation in the (1) pathophysiological mechanisms that trigger cardiovascular events and (2) physiological status of the cardiovascular system, which combine to give rise to 24 h and other periodicities in the susceptibility to disease. The classic assumption of epidemiologic studies is constancy (or homeostasis) in one's risk to disease during the 24 h, as well as other, time domains. However, we propose a new concept, that of chronorisk since it takes into account the temporal variability in the pathophysiological mechanisms and their reciprocal temporal interactions that lead to day-night and other time-dependent patterns in cardiovascular events. This chronobiological approach, which is expected to contribute new insight into the prognostic and therapeutic assessment of cardiovascular events, is worthy of broader application in cardiovascular and other fields of medicine and warrants further investigation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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