Researchers find the real cause of spike in cardiac deaths around Christmas

Researchers find the real cause of spike in cardiac deaths around Christmas

It is the Christmas season, and not the usually harsh weather, which triggers a spike in the number of cardiac or heart-related deaths this time of the year, according to a new research.

Researchers have been noticing an increase in cardiac deaths in the U.S. and other countries during the holiday season. Many blamed decline in temperatures and harsh weather conditions for the spike in deaths, but the new study indicated that the holiday season itself causes the spike instead.

While Americans celebrate Christmas during harsh winter, New Zealanders celebrate it during summer weather. As New Zealand is located in the Southern Hemisphere, citizens of their nation experience their summer from December through February.

The researchers found cardiac deaths from Dec. 25 through Jan. 7 in New Zealand normally increase more than 4 per cent, despite hotter weather conditions. The study concluded that cold weather is not responsible for the spike in deaths.

University of Melbourne Prof. Josh Knight, who led the study, said, “The Christmas effect that has been seen in the northern hemisphere winter is able to be seen during the summer also. This means that there is a risk associated with the holiday period independent of the seasonality.”

The research also suggested that other factors, such as greater emotional stress, increasing in diet or alcohol consumption, and less staff at medical facilities, might be the cause of the spike in cardiac deaths.

The researchers reported their findings in the most recent edition of the journal of the American Heart Association (AHA).


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