THE CLAIM — Heart attacks are more common on Mondays.
THE FACTS — The stress of returning to work and the start of a long week would seem like reason enough to dread Monday mornings. But can the stress of that cursed first day of the week also pose a hazard to your heart?
In several studies of various populations over the years, scientists have found that deaths from heart attacks follow a pattern during the week. They occur at their lowest rates on weekends, jump significantly on Mondays, then drop again on Tuesdays.
The most recent study to examine this trend was published last year in The European Journal of Epidemiology, based on an analysis of several previous studies in different countries.
It found that the risk of a heart attack was about 20 percent greater on Mondays for adult men, and 15 percent greater for adult women.
One study, published in 2000 in The British Medical Journal, for example, identified the trend in a Scottish population but suggested that problems might be linked to heavier drinking over the weekend.
Other studies have also found the Monday effect among retirees — who presumably do not have to worry about overbearing bosses and heavy workloads.