Speedy Heart Recovery Linked to Body Clock, New Research Suggests

Category: Health


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. recuperate / rɪˈku pəˌreɪt / (v) – to recover from an illness

    Sometimes, it takes up to six months to recuperate from a major surgery.

  2. adverse / ædˈvɜrs / (adj) – not good or not favorable

    Smoking has adverse effects on the lungs.

  3. long hard look / lɔŋ hɑrd lʊk / (idiom) – to study something thoroughly

    Jake took a long hard look at his quiz paper before passing it to the teacher.

  4. sanction / ˈsæŋk ʃən / (v) – to make something official or a standard

    Our company did not sanction the use of casual clothes when going to work.

  5. hypothetical / ˌhaɪ pəˈθɛt ɪ kəl / (adj) – subject to further study

    The new finding is still hypothetical so it can’t be widely practiced yet.


Read the text below.

Researchers have discovered that conducting heart surgeries in the afternoon may lower the risk of post-surgery complications.

The new study, published in the online journal Lancet, showed that the body clock might affect the recovery speed of those who underwent heart surgery. Body clock is the humans’ natural way to determine when the body is ready to eat, sleep, and if it is prepared to recover from an operation.

According to the researchers, the human heart has a higher chance to recuperate in the afternoon and people who have heart surgeries in the morning are more prone to heart damage. Hence, the researchers suggested that heart surgeries be moved in the afternoon.

The researchers discovered this finding after studying the medical records of almost 600 heart surgery patients from 2009 to 2015. They found that nearly 60 morning patients experienced post-surgery complications like heart attack, heart failure, and even death. Meanwhile, only approximately 30 afternoon patients experienced such adverse events.

The researchers also tested heart tissue samples of morning and afternoon surgery patients in January 2016. The result showed that the majority of the afternoon patients had faster heart recovery. However, the researchers stressed that they still need to take a long hard look at the study before they sanction the findings.

While the findings are still hypothetical, there are other ways to ensure fast recovery after surgery. It is recommended to do breathing exercises before and after surgery to help body parts function properly. A recovering patient can also eat food that can help wounds heal faster, like eggs, almonds, walnuts, and chicken. Lastly, simple exercises like walking can also speed up a patient’s recovery.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you agree that the body’s system is weaker in the morning? Why or why not?
• How can the new findings be useful?

Discussion B

• How else can patients ensure speedy recovery after surgery?
• How can recovered patients prevent complications long after surgery?