Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Happy Birthday or Not? Study says we’re more likely to die on the day we were born than any other day in the year

        Good Day Humboldt County!

  Birthdays are an interesting subject. When you’re young you look forward to them because they represent a certain day of the year when friends and family all give you presents.

  However, as the years turn to decades, many of us would rather skip the whole birthday thing and not be reminded that we’re another year older. Mortality becomes a subject to avoid. Of course this is a sweeping statement because there’s a lot of people who enjoy celebrating their birthday no matter how old they are.

As I’ve cautioned in the past, we must take studies with a grain of salt and consider everything that goes into them. My thought on a study like the following one is that it’s interesting, but hardly the last word on the subject.

In (less than) full disclosure, I’ve let my birthday slip by more quietly every year for several decades until now it’s almost a state secret!   

“A new study suggests that men and women are 14 percent more likely to die on their birthday than any other day of the year.  This effect was strongest in people aged 60 and older, who were up to 18 percent more likely to die on their birthday.

In this large study, which was published in the Annals of Epidemiology, researchers analyzed data from more than 2.4 million Swiss people who died between 1969 and 2008. They tried to determine if there was any relationship between when people died and the cause compared to their birthdays.

"We were surprised that our findings apply to specific causes of death," says Ajdacic-Gross. Both violent causes, such as suicides and falls, as well as strokes and cardiovascular deaths were tied to birthdays. "In addition, older people are distinctly more vulnerable than younger people," he adds.

Men were more likely to have a violent demise on their birthday, as their chances of suicides spiked by nearly 35 percent and their odds of being accident victims rose by almost 29 percent. Deadly falls in men rose by 44 percent on their birthdays, and, interestingly, the number of falls started to increase about four days before the celebration took place.

When it came to natural causes of deaths, women were at greater risk -- almost 22 percent -- of passing away from a stroke on their birthday. For both ladies and gentleman, there was a nearly 19 percent increase in dying from heart-related reasons.” (Read more here)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

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