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March 10, 2023

Daylight Savings: When Clocks Go Forward, Your Members' Health Goes Back

Artemis Health

Daylight savings provokes an onslaught of articles twice a year. We wanted to see if our book of business reflected or rejected some of the headlines and health claims you’ll see this weekend as clocks in 48 out of 50 states spring forward.

We pulled data from over 6 million members, 50% male and 50% female, with an average age of 35 years old, to compare health claims from the two weeks following daylight savings in March 2022 compared to the last two weeks of February the same year. Here’s what we found:

Vehicle Accidents Sprung Forward  

We looked at all vehicle-related medical claims data, including cars, boats, motorcycles, and even tractors. The data also included pedestrian-vehicle accidents such as segways and scooters. Our data doesn’t include fatality rates, so we could not verify a 6% spike in fatal car accidents. However, we did see that all vehicle related 16% increased two weeks following daylight savings.

Cardiovascular Disease Claims Increased

Hypertension drives this daylight savings statistic with a 24% higher risk of heart attacks the two weeks following setting clocks forward for the Spring. There was also a 13.7% increase in members with cardiovascular claims compared to the prior period. Strokes also were up with a 21.7% increase. However, when we looked at a weekly average over the eight weeks leading up to daylight savings compared to the week immediately following losing an hour, strokes actually decreased 3.4%.

Mental Health Claims Were Up

Depression episodes went up 25.7% the two weeks after daylight savings, and telehealth claims for mood affective disorders went up almost 8%. That being said, medical claims of members with depression, anxiety, and PTSD were down 6.4% the week after daylight savings compared to a previous eight-week average.

Cycles in your industry, holidays, or certain seasons may impact the well-being of your population. To dig into your data to see how daylight savings or other external factors could be affecting your members so you can best strategize, contact our team today to get started.  
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