A new survey suggests that more people die on Christmas than any other day of the year
There doesn’t seem to be one concrete reason for the trend, but rather a robust collection of many factors — from old age and natural causes to understaffed hospitals and an unwillingness to bother relatives with a trip to the hospital.
Some theories include the effects of cold weather; some say it’s stress. And in the case of one family member dying shortly after another has passed, researchers say it could be as simple as a broken heart, says Medical Daily.
A wide array of causes seem to contribute to the trend of Christmas Day deaths including understaffed hospitals and an unwillingness by people to bother their relatives for a ride to the doctor’s office.
Death by cardiac disease, respiratory diseases, endocrine/nutritional/metabolic problems, digestive diseases, and cancer – the five most common causes of death – see an overall increase during this time of year, Medical Daily reported.
Among Alzheimer’s patients even, who researcher David P. Phillips of the University of California San Diego sociology department studied for outlier data, showed increased death rates at the end of the year.
This signaled to Phillips and his colleagues that an awareness of stress wasn’t a relevant factor — cardiac disease persisted among Alzheimer’s patients, too, reports Medical Daily.
One study from the University of California San Diego examined hospital workforces around the holidays and discovered that Level 1 trauma centers often carry less than a full staff, and have less experienced professionals on hand during the Christmas holiday.
A 2012 study showed that “patients admitted as medical emergencies on public holidays were 48 percent more likely to die within seven days and 27 percent more likely to do so within 30 days.”