More heart attack deaths during the Christmas holidays
In a study conducted by the University of Melbourne( Australia), it was shown that during the Christmas holidays more people die from a heart attack than elsewhere. The researchers, who now published their results in the "Journal of theAmerican Heart Association, "but also noted that not the cold, but other factors are responsible for the increase in deaths during this time.
Increased sterility risk in winter
Already in earlier investigations in the USA it had been shown that during the Christmas holidays there are more heart attacks than usual. Experts had assumed that this effect is due to winter cold.
It has long been known that there are more fatal heart attacks in winter. Health experts such as the Federal Association of Cardiologists( BNK) have also pointed to an increased risk of complications such as heart attack, stroke or circulatory disorders of the heart in cold weather.
The reason for this is that the blood pressure increases automatically at low temperatures as the blood vessels contract to the temperature regulation. Individuals with hypertension or underlying diseases such as coronary heart disease or arterial lime are therefore particularly cautious in the cold months.
It is not the cold of winter
However, the scientists of the Australian university have analyzed data from New Zealand, a country where Christmas and New Year's Eve are summer and warm temperatures prevail.
It also showed that during the period between Christmas and the first week of January there were significantly more deaths from heart disease. Coldness can not be the reason for the increased numbers.
Lower average age of the deceased
The researchers have evaluated the study data from a period of 25 years( 1988-2013).There were 738,409 deaths, 197,109 were the result of heart disease. In the period between 25 December and 7 January, however, these mortality rates increased by an average of 4.2 percent compared with other times of the year.
In addition, the dead were younger. The average age of people who died of heart disease during the Christmas holidays was about one year lower than in the case of death in the rest of the year.
Stress and Unhealthy Nutrition at Christmas
The researchers were able to separate the "holiday effect" from the "winter effect" by evaluating the data from a country in which Christmas is summer, explained Josh Knight from the University of MelbourneNotification.
Although scientists can not make a definitive statement about the causes of the Christmas holiday effect, according to Knight, factors such as limited access to healthcare during Christmas holidays, emotional stress, changing diet and alcohol consumption play a key role.
To the first point, he explained: "The holiday season is a popular time to travel in New Zealand".People are then away from their main medical facilities."This can lead to a lack of familiarity, and the search for treatment".
Death date could be selected
Knight pointed out another possible explanation. It could be that people choose a day for their death that is important to them.
"The ability of the individual to modify his death date on the basis of significant data has been confirmed and rebutted in other studies, but there remains a possible explanation for this holiday effect," the researcher said.(ad)
Researchers at an Australian university have found in a study that during the Christmas holidays more people die from heart disease than at other times. The reason for this is obviously not the winter cold, but other factors.