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Safe supinity.

Safe supinity

Need an excuse for not getting up in the morning? Why nottell your boss you've got a bad case of circadian platelet aggregability?

In recent years scientisthave confirmed that heart attacksare more likely to strike in the morning than at any other time of day, but nobody's been able to explain the phenomenon. Now there is evidence that increased platelet activity -- apparently associated with getting up in the morning--may be the cause of these early-morning attacks.

Geoffrey H. Tofler and his colleagues at Harvard MedicalSchool in Boston report in the June 11 NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE that platelets -- normally part of the body's blood-clotting machinery--show an increased tendency to aggregate, or stick to each other, in the hours just after a person gets out of bed in the morning. The increase is not seen in people who stay in bed. While a definitive causal relationship has yet to be shown, the scientists hypothesize that activation of the sympathetic nervous system, associated with arising and with morning activities, may in turn stimulate platelet aggregability. If a clump of platelets then becomes lodged in an artery that normally supplies oxygen to the heart, they say, the blockage could precipitate a heart attack.

What's more, the authors note, the risk of getting out of bedmay be even greater for people with a history of coronary artery disease and for people who smoke, since both factors have been shown to cause a general increase in platelet aggregability. While the discovery may not serve as a medical excuse for people too lazy to get out of bed, the researchers suggest it may lead to some early-morning dosage adjustments for patients taking anticoagulant drugs.
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Title Annotation:heart attacks more likely to strike in morning
Publication:Science News
Date:Jun 27, 1987
Words:281
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