Researchers from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have identified how the time of day could raise the risk of sudden cardiac death or dying from an irregular heartbeat. The risk of sudden cardiac death is peaked in morning as well as in the evening.
The protein levels controlling the rhythm of the heart keep on fluctuating all through the day. The inner functioning of the body undergoing a daily routine called as circadian rhythm, which keeps human body in sync with its environs. Jet lag can happen as the result of the body getting out of sync.
Because the body changes its chemistry all through the day, it can have impact on the health. In mice study, Prof Darwin Jeyaraj and colleagues has identified how time can affect the risk of sudden cardiac death, which claims millions of lives every year.
They identified a protein known as Klf15 (kruppel-like factor 15), which was controlled by the body clock and levels of this protein in the body went up and down during the day. Klf15 protein persuades ion channels that control heart beat. Genetically engineered mice which generated excess of Klf15 protein had an amplified risk of developing lethal disturbances in cardiac rhythm.
In similar way mice which did not generate any Klf15 protein also had an increased risk of developing an irregular heartbeat. Study author Prof Jeyaraj stated, their study identifies up till now unknown mechanism for electrical instability in the heart. It provides insights into day and night variation in arrhythmia vulnerability that has been known for many years.
The study findings were published in the journal Nature. With further study, evaluation of circadian disruption in patients with cardiovascular disease might lead to innovative approaches to diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment, explained study co-author Prof Mukesh Jain. There are significant differences in the manner that human and mouse heart function, therefore it is now known whether the same mechanism exists in humans.