[tz] Daylight saving and heart attacks

Paul Eggert eggert at cs.ucla.edu
Tue Jun 25 00:06:31 UTC 2019

On 6/24/19 4:15 PM, Tim Parenti wrote:
> 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.
One way to tease out the effects of daylight saving time is to look at 
the health records of people near a time zone boundary, as you get a 
one-hour civil-time difference for free. As far as I know this sort of 
work was pioneered in 2011 by Mikhail Borisenkov of the Komi Science 
Center, who found that in Russia position within a time zone explained 
15% of the variability in female breast cancer mortality. Similar 
results have been found in the US, as I mentioned in 2017 on this 
mailing list <https://mm.icann.org/pipermail/tz/2017-November/025548.html>.

More recently, researchers have used this technique to find that a 
one-hour time difference suppresses voting by 2-5%. See:

Holbein JB, Shafer JP, Dickinson DL. Insufficient sleep reduces voting 
and other prosocial behaviors. 2019. Nat Hum Behav 3, 492-500. 

So it appears that daylight saving time causes cancer and keeps voters 
away from the polls, in addition to its other effects.

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