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Friday, February 24, 2012

Circadian Rhythm and Heart Attack

Posted by Prahallad Panda on 8:20 PM Comments

About 325,000 people in the United States suffer sudden cardiac death each year.
Heart attacks are more commonly seen during early morning and to a lesser extent in the evening hours; though can occur at anytime of a day.
The body clock, circadian rhythm might have a role to play in it  The first molecular evidence linking circadian rhythms has been suggested in a recent study.

English: Diagram illustrating the influence of...
Image via Wikipedia

Abnormal heart rhythms called ventricular arrhythmias are the most common cause of sudden cardiac death, which is the primary cause of death from heart disease. Experts have long noticed that ventricular arrhythmias occur most often in the morning waking hours, with a smaller peak in the evening hours.
The researchers found that a genetic factor called Kruppel-like factor 15 (KLF15) connects the body's natural circadian rhythm to the heart's electrical activity and regulate it.
Too little or too much KLF15 can cause a loss or disruption in the heart's electrical cycle and greatly increases the risk of arrhythmias, according to the study. For example, patients with heart failure lack KLF15 while too much KLF15 causes heart rhythm disorder.
Heart’s rhythm is long known to fluctuate during different hours of a day. Now the researchers have come to know the exact molecular mechanism behind this. This can help certain group of people prone for heart attack. Drugs can be specifically formulated that can increase or decrease the level of KLF15 to prevent arrhythmias.
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