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Mondays cause bad blood pressure - 07-02-2005
The stress of returning to work on a Monday morning can trigger a dangerous increase in blood pressure, according to a study in Japan.

The Tokyo Women's Medical University study shows blood pressure readings are higher than at any other time of the week. It may explain why deaths from heart attacks and strokes tend to peak on a Monday morning - 20 per cent higher than any other day.

To see how blood pressure changed over the course of a week, researchers fitted 175 men and women with a device that would measure their blood pressure round-the-clock. A week later the recruits returned the devices so that researchers could assess how blood pressure had changed. The results, published in the American Journal of Hypertension, showed a surge in readings in those getting ready to go back to work on a Monday morning.

Volunteers who stayed asleep did not experience an increase, which suggests work-related stress is most likely to blame. 'Most people are free of the mental and physical burdens of work on a Sunday and experience a more stressful change from weekend leisure activities to work activities on Mondays,' said Dr Shuogo Murakami, who led the research. 'There was a distinct peak on Mondays in this study.'

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