[tz] Daylight saving and heart attacks

Tim Parenti tim at timtimeonline.com
Mon Jun 24 23:15:46 UTC 2019

On Mon, 24 Jun 2019 at 17:29, Paul Gilmartin via tz <tz at iana.org> wrote:

> > To my mind the more-concerning health effects of daylight-saving time
> occur not during the twice-yearly transitions, but during the time that DST
> is in effect - which is the whole year when a location uses "permanent
> DST". Unfortunately these effects have not been studied as much, although
> experts are warning us that these effects are worrisomely negative …
> >
> The most likely consequence of "permanent DST” is that people will
> recognize that winter mornings are too dark and health is affected and,
> over decades, adjust their hours of activity, nullifying the effect.

Over decades, yes.  I would imagine that, just as the short-term (~week
scale) effects of seasonal DST changes has a nullifying effect on the very
real hyper-short-term (~fraction of a day scale) effects on heart attack
rates, such long-term (~decades scale) adaptation actually nullifies what
would be equally real effects on public health in the medium-term (~years

In general, society is unlikely to adjust all of its starting times for
everything overnight, but the agreement to shift into a more suitable
pattern may instead come along gradually.  So perhaps at 2 to 20 years out
from a permanent offset shift, one could theoretically see the effects of
"social jet lag" settle into a society and then work themselves out…
although I would think, in that case, the magnitude of those effects on
health data would be sufficiently small that they would likely be dwarfed
by the broader public health trends of the time.

Tim Parenti
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