London: We are 14% more likely to die on our birthday, according to new research based on a study of more than two million people. The authors of the study blame what they have called anniversary reaction hypothesis, or birthday blues, with stress playing a significant part.
Causes of birthday deaths included heart attacks, stroke, cancer, falls and suicide . “We concluded that birthdays end lethally more frequently than might be expected ,” the Independent quoted Dr Vladeta Ajdacic-Gross , who led the Swiss study, as saying.
The researchers analysed 2.4 million deaths over a 40-year period. Results show there were 13.8% more deaths on birthdays than might be expected compared with any other day of the year.
The risk increased with age, with the figure rising to 18% among the over 60s. Results for individual diseases show that there was an 18.6% increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks , and a higher risk of up to 21.5% for strokes.
There was also a 10.8% rise in deaths among people with cancer. Among men, there was a 34.9% rise in suicides, and a 28.5% increase in accidental deaths. There was also a 44% rise in fatal falls on birthdays.