There are a lot of reasons to dislike Mondays, but two Canadian doctors have come up with an unusually compelling one: Going back to work Monday morning can kill you. Their study of 3,983 men between 1948 and 1977 disclosed that a man with no history of heart disease is more likely to suffer a fatal heart attack on Monday than any other day of the week. The doctors are not certain why, but one of them, Dr. Simon W. Rabkin of the University of Manitoba, speculates that "reintroductions to occupational stress, activity or pollutants after a weekend respite may be factors precipitating" altered heartbeat that can lead to heart attack.
"Psychological stress has been related to sudden cardiac death and return to work may serve as a stressor," he said. The researchers found 63 sudden cardiac deaths among men with no previous ischemic (anemic tissue) heart disease. Of these, 22 occurred on Monday, seven on Tuesday, six on Wednesday, 13 on Thursday, five on Friday, four on Saturday and six on Sunday. Three-quarters of the deaths that took place at work happened on Monday. Among men with a history of heart disease there were 89 sudden deaths. These were more evenly distributed through the week, though Monday and Tuesday had the most, 16 each. Factors related to the previous disease apparently are more important than variations in daily routine, Rabkin said.