23 July 2004

Is There a Relationship?

Dr. Jakovljevic Dimitrije had just done a study on the weekly variation in ischemic stroke occurrence and the effect of socioeconomic status among 12,801 adults in Finland. Here are his findings:
- Sundays had the least numbers of strokes.

- Mondays brought the most number of strokes in a day, especially among elderly men aged 60 to 74 years and those of lower income.

- In women, Tuesday appears to be the day of the week that strokes occurred most frequently. There appeared to be a 5% increase in stroke frequency above that observed during the rest of the week.

- Older (aged 60-74), higher-income women had 49% of strokes on Wednesdays.

- Young, upperclass women (aged 25 to 59) had many strokes on Mondays, but the majority of their strokes --- a high 46% --- were on Fridays. [From WebMD and the medical journal Stroke, July 22, 2004]
My opinion on the variation of the number of stroke attack incidents per day of the week is that I believe on different days, people encounter different stress factors. Usually physical in nature, these stress factors can range from work-related events to tiring family-related errands.

The study was done in Finland by a Finnish doctor, and I think the Finnish work culture must also be analyzed. The plus factor of this study is its large subject sampling but to arrive at a hasty conclusion that since Monday is the busiest day, it had the most number of strokes and Sunday being a rest day, it had the least, can be a quick analysis, but may hide more aspects of the problem.

Hypertension and factors contributing to it, as well as sharp, isolated blood pressure spikes, are the real culprits to stroke attack occurrence. Work-related issues like fatigue, exhaustion, lack of sleep, drinking too much coffee, and the usual suspects like smoking, heavy alcohol drinking, and a diet rich in fat, sugars, and salt are all part of a myriad of interrelated factors that result in stroke attacks..

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