Saint Valentine`s Day


Picture: Minna Varhala

Can falling in love be considered as a preanalytical risk factor for laboratory tests?

 What happens when we fall in love? The most common symptoms known to the lovesick are racing heartbeats, nervousness, obsessive focus and loss of appetite. We can say that our body is going through many changes and it is far away from "normal" state.

As we all know, certain behaviors may affect some laboratory test results, such as recent or excessive exercise, not taking in enough fluids (dehydration), excessive eating, smoking cigarettes, alcohol consumption or recent sexual activity. There are also many test specific factors that affects to results. To avoid the effect of those factors, we have to instruct patients to the lab tests and also control before sample collection that patients have followed the instructions.

So based on the symptoms of lovesick, it is also a good idea to ask, if the patient has been falling in love recently and, if she or he is totally in love, it might be a good idea to postpone the sample collection till the patient has  returned back to the normal state.

Happy Valentine`s Day!


Juha Wahlstedt