Your day of death can relate to your day of birth, according to a new Swiss study.
A comprehensive analysis of 2.4 million deaths over a period of 40 years showed that people are 13.8 percent more likely to die on their birthdays than on any other days.
The researchers tested for two potential relationships: the “death postponement” hypothesis and the “anniversary reaction” hypothesis.
In the former, people might be subconsciously waiting until their birthdays arrive, like a milestone, before they pass away. In the latter, also called birthday blues, the stress of becoming another year older may contribute to death.
The team found that the mortality statistics were best explained by the birthday blues with people dying mostly from heart attacks and strokes, as well as suicides and accidents, especially falls in men.
Interestingly, the risk of a fatal fall began to increase from about four days before a birthday.
The study is called “Death has a preference for birthdays—an analysis of death time series,” and was published in Annals of Epidemiology on June 4.
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