Cardiac Mortality Is Higher Around Christmas and New Year’s Than at Any Other Time: The Holidays as a Risk Factor for Death

@article{Phillips2004CardiacMI,
  title={Cardiac Mortality Is Higher Around Christmas and New Year’s Than at Any Other Time: The Holidays as a Risk Factor for Death},
  author={David Peter Phillips and Jason R. Jarvinen and Ian S Abramson and Rosalie R. Phillips},
  journal={Circulation},
  year={2004},
  volume={110},
  pages={3781-3788}
}
Background—Research published in Circulation has shown that cardiac mortality is highest during December and January. We investigated whether some of this spike could be ascribed to the Christmas/New Year’s holidays rather than to climatic factors. Methods and Results—We fitted a locally weighted polynomial regression line to daily mortality to estimate the number of deaths expected during the holiday period, using the null hypothesis that natural-cause mortality is unaffected by the Christmas… 

Figures from this paper

Christmas and New Year as risk factors for death.
It's that time of year again, increased risk for heart failure patients.
Excess mortality at Christmas due to cardiovascular disease in the HUNT study prospective population-based cohort in Norway
TLDR
Beyond a broader pattern of seasonally-linked mortality characterised by excess winter deaths, the deadliest time of year in Central Norway coincides with the Christmas holidays; during this time, the pattern and frequency of cardiovascular-related mortality changes markedly; contrasting with a more stable pattern of cancer- related mortality.
Mortality Spike at New Year but not Christmas in North East England
  • E. Milne
  • Medicine
    European Journal of Epidemiology
  • 2005
TLDR
The absence of a Christmas spike in NNT may indicate that it is preventable, and a spike in mortality attributable to increases in cardiac and respiratory deaths was seen on New Year’s Day but not on Christmas Day.
Diagnostic and age composition of excess mortality associated with the New Year holidays in Russia
TLDR
January 1 saw the highest excess mortality from external causes, including that of alcohol poisoning, homicide, and suicide, in all age groups; on January 2 the highest increase was observed in mortality from diseases of the circulatory system; onJanuary 9 and 10 — from the pathologies of the respiratory and digestive systems.
Revisiting the “Christmas Holiday Effect” in the Southern Hemisphere
Background A “Christmas holiday effect” showing elevated cardiovascular mortality over the Christmas holidays (December 25 to January 7) was demonstrated previously in study from the United States.
The "Merry Christmas Coronary" and "Happy New Year Heart Attack" phenomenon.
TLDR
A study that examined whether there are seasonable variations in cardiac mortality in a location where winter weather is mild—Los Angeles County, Calif—was struck by an increase in deaths starting around Thanksgiving, climbing through Christmas, peaking on New Year’s Day, and then falling, whereas daily minimum temperatures remained relatively flat during December and January.
Unwrapping the Surprisingly High Risk of Dying from Cardiovascular Disease at Christmas: The HUNT Prospective Population-based Cohort Study in Norway
TLDR
Christmas in Central Norway is characterised by a distinctive change and increase in cardiovascular-related mortality over and above that observed between winter (more deaths) and summer (fewer deaths).
...
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 40 REFERENCES
When throughout the year is coronary death most likely to occur? A 12-year population-based analysis of more than 220 000 cases.
TLDR
Even in the mild climate of Los Angeles County, there are seasonal variations in the development of coronary artery death, with approximately 33% more deaths occurring in December and January than in June through September.
Changing seasonality of mortality from coronary heart disease.
TLDR
Seasonal patterns in coronary mortality in the United States have changed with time, and these changes are compatible with the gradual expansion of adequate heating and the subsequent increased use of air-conditioning.
An increase in the number of deaths in the United States in the first week of the month--an association with substance abuse and other causes of death.
TLDR
There were significant increases in the number of deaths in the first week of the month for many causes of death, including substance abuse, natural causes, homicides, suicides, and motor vehicle accidents.
Winter mortality and its causes
  • W. Keatinge
  • Environmental Science
    International journal of circumpolar health
  • 2002
TLDR
With the possible exception of some tropical countries, global warming can be expected to reduce cold related deaths more than it increases the rarer heat related deaths, but statistics on populations in different climates suggest that, given time, people will adjust to global warming with little change in either mortality.
Cold and the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  • S. Näyhä
  • Medicine
    International journal of circumpolar health
  • 2002
TLDR
The winter excess mortality from coronary heart disease has been levelling off during recent decades, but it still represents approximately 6% of annual deaths due to this condition, and the exact location of the minimum temperature and the magnitude of the effect can vary between countries.
Cold--an underrated risk factor for health.
Annual and New Year's Day alcohol-related traffic fatalities--United States, 1982-1990.
  • Medicine
    MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report
  • 1991
TLDR
This report summarizes data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) Fatal Accident Reporting System on trends in ARTFs in the United States from 1982 through 1990 both annually and for January 1 of each year.
...
...