We are more likely to die on our birthday than any other day
16, June, Daily Telegraph
Be careful blowing out the candles. Scientists have found we are more
likely to die on our birthday than any other day.Researchers who studied
more than two million people over 40 years found a rise in deaths from
heart attacks, strokes, falls and suicides.William Shakespeare died on
his birthday on April 23 1616. The actress Ingrid Bergman also died on
her birthday, in August 1982.On average, people over the age of 60 were
14 per cent more likely to die on their birthdays.
Heart attacks rose 18.6 per cent on birthdays and were higher for men
and women while strokes were up 21.5 per cent - mostly in women.
Dr Vladeta Ajdacic-Gross of the University of Zurich, said:
'Birthdays end lethally more frequently than might be expected.' He
added that risk of birthday death rose as people got older.Canadian data
also showed that strokes were more likely on birthdays, especially among
patients with high blood pressure.There was a 34.9 per cent rise in
suicides, 28.5 per cent rise in accidental deaths not related to cars,
and a 44 per cent rise in deaths from falls on birthdays. Psychologist
prof Richard Wiseman, from the University of Hertfordshire, said: "It
seems to be a valid finding.
"There are two camps - one is the camp that suggests you eat too much
and your getting on a bit and that causes you to die."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'."Dr Lewis Halsey, of the University of Roehampton, said: 'One
interesting finding is that more suicides happen on birthdays, though
only in men.'Perhaps men are more likely to make a statement about their
unhappiness when they think people will be taking more notice of
them.'The study is published in the journal Annals of Epidemiology.