Ho, ho, ho.
A new study has revealed that the holidays, especially Christmas and New Year’s days, creates a strange, but opportune time to die.
The report in the journal Social Science & Medicine details how for some reason people have a much-higher tendency to suffer fatal attacks on those two holidays than any other time period of the year — maybe just plain sick of Santa’s ass.
There’s a known correlation between the holidays and death via vehicles and alcohol — two to three times more people die on the nation’s roads than any other time of the year — 40 percent of traffic fatalities during that time involve a driver who is alcohol-impaired, compared to 28 percent for the rest of the month.
(Illustration found here).
This new death research, however, concerns dying by natural causes in hospital ERs — peopleÂ just dropping dead.
From Canada’s National Post:
A new U.S. analysis of mortality rates during different times of year found that people are more likely to die during the holidays — notably on Christmas and New Yearâ€™s Day — and researchers cannot explain the yearly spike.
After analyzing all official United States death certificates over the 25-year period between 1979 and 2004, a trio of sociologists identified an excess of 42,325 natural deaths — that is, above and beyond the normal seasonal winter increase — in the two weeks starting with Christmas.
More people die in hospital emergency wards, or arrive dead on arrival, on Christmas, Boxing Day and New Yearâ€™s Day than on any other days of the year.
â€œItâ€™s not trivial,â€ said Mr. Phillips, a professor of sociology at the University of California at San Diego.
â€œWe 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 the emergency department.â€
The big question is why.
â€œItâ€™s speculated that psychological stress can make a difference,â€ Mr. Phillips said.
â€œBut to make a difference so quickly and so precisely bang-on Christmas and [New Yearâ€™s Day], for a huge range of diseases, makes it seem unlikely as a broad-scale explanation.â€
The reseachers noted two other, smaller single-day jumps in crib deaths in U.S. data: a 14% spike on July 5, the day after Independence Day, and an 18% boost on April 20, which the authors noted is a â€œcounterculture holiday devoted to the celebration of cannabis consumption.â€
A bowl and booze don’t mix — one of the reasons I quit drinking.