Having a heart attack in 'off hours' holds greater mortality risk

No time is a good time to have a heart attack, but people who have heart attacks in the 'off hours' face a higher chance of death.

A recent study fromthe Mayo Clinic in Minnesota shows that heart attacks are the leading cause of death worldwide. The study also shows that suffering a heart attack during the weekend or after regular hospital hours poses a higher mortality rate.

'Off hours' heart attack visits result in 6,000 more deaths annually. The study specifically found that patients who arrive at the hospital at night or on the weekends had a 5 percent greater chance of dying. Those deaths happened either in the hospital or within 30 days after discharge.

"It's the fact that off hours you have a skeleton crew, lower staff, you don't need as many people, and many cases you can't get a hold of the specialist you need," said Dr. Mark Shima, NEMO Interventional Cardiologist.

Signs and symptoms of a heart attack can include a squeezing or burning pain in the center of the chest, shortness of breath, nausea, a weak, fast pulse, and fatigue. If any of these symptoms experienced, contact a doctor immediately.