Funeral Director calls, peak on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. and increase on Holidays.
Now a survey bears this one out.
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.
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.
In the paper, which appeared last month in the Addiction journal, they argued that cot death increased 33 per cent on New Year’s Day – triggered by an increase in alcohol consumption by carers.
- Study finds U.S. citizens more likely to die on Christmas Day than at any other time in the year (dailymail.co.uk)
- Deaths spike on Christmas, New Year’s, study finds (windsorstar.com)