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People are 14% more likely to Die on their Birthday

People are 14% more likely to Die on their Birthday

(epharmanews)- After a certain age, blowing out the birthday candles can bring more dread than cheer. However, the passing of another year may be the least of our problems, according to scientists who found we are statistically more likely to die on our birthday than any other day.

The findings – from a study over a 40-year period in Switzerland – back up the idea that ‘birthday stress’ has a major effect on our lifespan.

Most of the rise was accounted for by heart attacks, which rose 18.6 per cent on birthdays and were significantly higher for men and women.

The findings also reveal that people were 18.6 percent more likely to get a heart attack, 21.5 percent more likely of getting a stroke, and 10.8 per cent more likely to die of cancer on their birthdays.

Levels of strokes were up 21.5 per cent – mostly in women – and there was a surprisingly large increase in cancer deaths in both sexes of 10.5 per cent.

Researchers also found that, among men, there was a 34.9 percent increase in suicides, a 28.5 percent increase in accidental deaths and 44 percent rise in deaths from falls on birthdays.

“Birthdays end lethally more frequently than might be expected.” said lead author Dr. Vladeta Ajdacic-Gross.

Dr Lewis Halsey, a senior lecturer in environmental physiology at the University of Roehampton, said: ‘One interesting finding is that more suicides happen on birthdays, though only in men.

'The authors suggest that this increase could be related to them drinking more alcohol on birthdays.

‘But perhaps men are more likely to make a statement about their unhappiness when they think people will be taking more notice of them.

Researchers had previously supported the "postponement theory" that people were more likely to die on days just after their birthday as the thought of reaching the milestone would help them hang on for longer.

However, scientists from the latest study said that the newest findings challenge the existing "postponement theory" and support the "anniversary reaction" theory, that stress on a birthday or the" birthday blues" is sometimes fatal.

"There are two camps - one is the camp that suggests you eat too much and you’re getting on a bit and that causes you to die," said psychologist and Professor Richard Wiseman, from the University of Hertfordshire.  "The other is a placebo effect. You are knife-edged on death. And you kept yourself going until your birthday. You think 'that's it I've had enough I'm out of here'."

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Prepared by: Hasan Zaytoon

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