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U.S. Citizens more Likely to Die on Christmas Day

U.S. Citizens more Likely to Die on Christmas Day - A new study has baffled researchers after revealing U.S. citizens are more likely to die on Christmas Day than any other time of the year.

Analysis of U.S. death certificates between 1979 and 2004 found an extra 42,325 natural deaths in the two weeks starting with Christmas above the usual seasonal winter increase.

In an article in the Social Science & Medicine journal, researchers said that mortality in general increased over the holidays, and deaths in hospitals rose dramatically on Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

The study found that more people died on hospital wards, or had died before arrival, on the public holidays than on any other days of the year.

U.S. Citizens more Likely to Die on Christmas Day

Researcher David Phillips, a sociology professor at the University of California, told the National Post: 'It's not trivial. We looked at all cause categories and, for nearly every one, we found an excess of deaths - particularly for people who are dying rapidly, like dead-on-arrival or dying in an emergency department.'

He said that the team's analysis of 57.5million death certificates showed the chance of dying during the holiday period increased 'somewhere between three per cent and nine per cent, depending on the demographic you're looking at' and 'somewhere between one per cent and ten per cent, depending on what cause of death you're looking at'.

He added: 'It's speculated that psychological stress can make a difference.

'But to make a difference so quickly and so precisely bang-on Christmas and [New Year's Day], for a huge range of diseases, makes it seem unlikely as a broad-scale explanation.'
Possible explanations behind the spike in deaths include overcrowding in emergency departments, winter travel, cold weather and substance abuse.

Mr Phillips and two other researchers at the university wrote a paper linking sudden infant death syndrome with alcohol use.

U.S. Citizens more Likely to Die on Christmas Day

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