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UVA and Seasonal Patterning of 56 370 Myocardial Infarctions Across Scotland, 2000–2011

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    Rights statement: ª 2019 The Authors. Published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wiley. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.

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Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number23
Early online date21 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 3 Dec 2019


Myocardial infarction exhibits seasonal patterning, with higher amplitude at increased latitude. Epidemiological evidence suggests that sunlight is protective against cardiovascular disease, independent of ambient temperature, but ultraviolet B–mediated vitamin D production has been discounted as causal. We aimed to determine whether ultraviolet A is associated with the seasonal patterning of myocardial infarction.

Methods and Results
Routine hospitalization data were used to determine monthly incidence of myocardial infarction in Scotland between 2000 and 2011. Small‐area–level aggregated data were obtained on ambient temperature from the Meteorological Office and ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B irradiance from NASA satellites. Autoregressive distributed lag models were run for ultraviolet A and myocardial infarction, including adjustment for ambient temperature and ultraviolet B. Monthly incidence of myocardial infarction displayed winter peaks and summer troughs superimposed on the underlying trend, with a mean amplitude of 0.31 (95% CI: 0.21, 0.41) myocardial infarctions per 100 000 population per month. Ultraviolet A exposure was inversely associated with myocardial infarction independent of ambient temperature (coefficient, −0.05; 95% CI, −0.09, −0.01; P=0.015) and ultraviolet B UVB (coefficient, −0.05; 95% CI, −0.09, −0.02; P=0.004).

Further research is required to explore whether an ultraviolet‐mediated mechanism different to vitamin D, such as nitric oxide–mediated vasodilatation, may play a causal role in the seasonal and geographical patterning of myocardial infarction.

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