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BMJ. 2018 Dec 12;363:k4811. doi: 10.1136/bmj.k4811.

Christmas, national holidays, sport events, and time factors as triggers of acute myocardial infarction: SWEDEHEART observational study 1998-2013.

Author information

1
Department of Cardiology, Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Skane University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.
2
Department of clinical sciences, Danderyd's University Hospital, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
3
Department of Medical Sciences and Uppsala Clinical Research Center, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
4
Örebro University, Faculty of Health, Department of Cardiology, Örebro, Sweden.
5
Department of Cardiology, Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Skane University Hospital, Lund, Sweden david.erlinge@med.lu.se.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To study circadian rhythm aspects, national holidays, and major sports events as triggers of myocardial infarction.

DESIGN:

Retrospective observational study using the nationwide coronary care unit registry, SWEDEHEART.

SETTING:

Sweden.

PARTICIPANTS:

283 014 cases of myocardial infarction reported to SWEDEHEART between 1998 and 2013. Symptom onset date was documented for all cases, and time to the nearest minute for 88%.

INTERVENTIONS:

Myocardial infarctions with symptom onset on Christmas/New Year, Easter, and Midsummer holiday were identified. Similarly, myocardial infarctions that occurred during a FIFA World Cup, UEFA European Championship, and winter and summer Olympic Games were identified. The two weeks before and after a holiday were set as a control period, and for sports events the control period was set to the same time one year before and after the tournament. Circadian and circaseptan analyses were performed with Sunday and 24:00 as the reference day and hour with which all other days and hours were compared. Incidence rate ratios were calculated using a count regression model.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Daily count of myocardial infarction.

RESULTS:

Christmas and Midsummer holidays were associated with a higher risk of myocardial infarction (incidence rate ratio 1.15, 95% confidence interval 1.12 to 1.19, P<0.001, and 1.12, 1.07 to 1.18, P<0.001, respectively). The highest associated risk was observed for Christmas Eve (1.37, 1.29 to 1.46, P<0.001). No increased risk was observed during Easter holiday or sports events. A circaseptan and circadian variation in the risk of myocardial infarction was observed, with higher risk during early mornings and on Mondays. Results were more pronounced in patients aged over 75 and those with diabetes and a history of coronary artery disease.

CONCLUSIONS:

In this nationwide real world study covering 16 years of hospital admissions for myocardial infarction with symptom onset documented to the nearest minute, Christmas, and Midsummer holidays were associated with higher risk of myocardial infarction, particularly in older and sicker patients, suggesting a role of external triggers in vulnerable individuals.

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interests: All authors have completed the ICMJE uniform disclosure form at www.icmje.org/coi_disclosure.pdf and declare: no support from any organisation for the submitted work; no financial relationships with any organisations that might have an interest in the submitted work in the previous three years; no other relationships or activities that could appear to have influenced the submitted work.

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