Opinion: Happy birthday everyone

POSTED: 06/13/12 1:11 PM

Many people consider it the highlight of the year – even before Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter: their birthday. But researchers have found that there is a downside to this happy event: people run a 14 percent higher risk to die on their birthday than they do on any other day of the year.

A Swiss study among 2.4 million deaths spread over a period of forty years form the basis for the conclusions that not all birthdays are happy.

The researchers say that the increased death-risk is due to what they have labeled the birthday blues. There is an increased risk of stress because of the festivities on such a day and because of other related events.

Research-leader Vladeta Ajdacic-Gross told the British newspaper the Independent that due to what she calls the birthday reaction hypothesis more people than average succumb to more heart attacks, strokes and suicide. Based on odds, birthdays have more often a deadly ending than people think, she added for good measure.

As people get older, their chances to die on their bvirthday also increases, the study found. People over the age of 60 have an 18 percent higher chance to die celebrating.

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