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*