Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Article Comments

What’s The Most Dangerous Day Of The Year?

With 365 days a year, one would think the law of averages would win this battle.  And you would be wrong. Because there is a deadliest day of the year?  It’s none other than Christmas.  Who would have thought that?  Why would Christmas be the deadliest day of the year.

Researchers examined 53 million natural deaths between 1973 and 2001.  What they found was cardiac and non-cardiac deaths peaked during Christmas and New Year’s (between 4-5% higher than expected).  They also found that the proportion of holiday deaths was increasing with time.

The authors and others offer some possible explanations

  • Decreased hospital staffing during the holidays
  • Increased consumption of artery clogging foods
  • Emotional stress of family gatherings
  • Delayed seeking of medical care around the holidays
  • Increased use of fireplaces
  • Increased physical exertion

I wonder if people who don’t celebrate Christmas are protected from this phenomenon.    What do you think?  Why is Christmas the deadliest day of the year?

*This blog post was originally published at The Happy Hospitalist Blog*

You may also like these posts

Read comments »

Comments are closed.

Return to article »

Latest Interviews

Caring For Winter Olympians In Sochi: An Interview With Team USA’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Gloria Beim

I am a huge fan of the winter Olympics partly because I grew up in Canada where most kids can ski and skate before they can run and partly because I used to participate in Downhill ski racing. Now that I m a rehab physician with a reconstructed knee I…

Read more »

How Do Hospital Executives Feel About Locum Tenens Agencies And Traveling Physicians?

I recently wrote about my experiences as a traveling physician and how to navigate locum tenens work. Today I want to talk about the client in this case hospital side of the equation. I ve had the chance to speak with several executives some were physicians themselves about the overall…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

Unaccountable: A Book About The Underbelly Of Hospital Care

I met Dr. Marty Makary over lunch at Founding Farmers restaurant in DC about three years ago. We had an animated conversation about hospital safety the potential contribution of checklists to reducing medical errors and his upcoming book about the need for more transparency in the healthcare system. Marty was…

Read more »

See all book reviews »