Death Takes a Holiday ... Just Not Your Birthday

Posted by George Prentice on Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 8:43 AM

You say it's your birthday. Sorry.

According to a new study, more people are dying on the day they were born. Research, published in the Annals of Epidemiology, tracked the death trajectories of more than 2 million people across a 40-year span. Overall, the study revealed a 13.8 percent greater probability people will die on their birthday. Findings revealed a significant increase in heart attacks, strokes, falls and suicides on that day.

The Independent reports that there are two main theories as to why this might be the case. One is that ill people can fixate on their birthdays, thus readying themselves for a possible major life event on that day — this is called postponement theory.

But the new report backs an alternate explanation, the anniversary hypothesis, which holds that the phenomenon is caused, at least in part, by the day itself. Birthdays can be stressful, emotional, prompting the so-called "birthday blues," and so forth.

Research from hospitals also shows a higher admissions for cardiovascular conditions on birthdays.

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