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Am J Emerg Med. 1999 Nov;17(7):672-4.

Seasonal variation in the occurrence of nontraumatic rupture of thoracic aorta.

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First Institute of Internal Medicine, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Ferrara, Italy.


Research has identified circadian and seasonal patterns for several acute cardiovascular diseases. In order to investigate the possible existence of a seasonal variation in the onset of acute nontraumatic ruptures of thoracic aorta, this study considered all patients referred to the emergency department of St Anna Hospital of Ferrara, Italy, from January 1985 to December 1996. In the considered period, 85 patients (52 males, 33 females) of nontraumatic ruptures of thoracic aorta were observed. Cosinor analysis and partial Fourier series with up to 4 harmonics were applied to monthly data, and the best-fitting curves for circannual rhythmicity were calculated. A higher winter occurrence with a significant peak in January was found for the total population and the male subgroup. Although the underlying factors are not fully known, such patterns strictly resemble that of arterial blood pressure. Emergency doctors can put to practical use the recognition of a clearly identified chronorisk for aortic rupture, increasing alertness, and providing the most effective antihypertensive protection at the specific vulnerable periods.

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