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DSM Researchers link Morning Cardiovascular Events to Circadian Clock

December 10, 2013

A study published in this month's issue of the journal Blood by HMS DSM researchers Frank A.J.L. Scheer and Steven Shea  suggests that the body's circadian clock may contribute to the fact that adverse cardiovascular events are most likely to occur in the morning.

Researchers evaluated the control of Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), which inhibits the breakdown of blood clots that contribute to the risk of heart attack or stroke, to test whether the morning peak in PAI-1 is caused by the internal circadian system or by behaviors that typically occur in the morning, like sitting up after hours of laying down and physical activity.

The team found a robust circadian rhythm in circulating PAI-1 with a peak in the morning. This rhythm in PAI-1 was 8-times larger than changes in PAI-1 induced by common morning behaviors like changing posture and physical activity.

The researchers hope to test this in individuals at higher risk for adverse cardiovascular events to show that it may help explain the morning peak in cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke.

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