European Journal of Epidemiology

, Volume 20, Issue 10, pp 849–854 | Cite as

Mortality Spike at New Year but not Christmas in North East England

Mortality

Abstract

Mortality in the USA has been shown to spike on Christmas and New Year’s Day. No comparable analyses are available for European data despite recognised seasonal mortality variations. Deaths for 1986–2000 were analysed by date for Newcastle and North Tyneside (NNT) to examine the Christmas period and the weeks surrounding Easter. A spike in mortality attributable to increases in cardiac and respiratory deaths was seen on New Year’s Day but not on Christmas Day. No disturbance of trend was seen at Easter. The causes of the ‘holiday phenomenon’ are not understood, but absence of a Christmas spike in NNT may indicate that it is preventable.

Keywords

Epidemiology Holidays Mortality Winter 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Gemmell, I, McLoone, P, Boddy, FA, Dickinson, GJ, Watt, GC 2000Seasonal variation in mortality in ScotlandInt J Epidemiol29274279CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Koppe, C, Kovats, S, Jendritzky, G, Menne, B 2004Health and Global Environmental Change Series, No. 2. Heat-waves: Risks and ResponsesWHO Regional Office for EuropeCopenhagenGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Barnett, AG, Dobson, AJ 2005Excess in cardiovascular events on Mondays: a meta-analysis and prospective studyJ Epidemiol Commun Health59109114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    McDermott, FT, Hughes, ES 1983Drink-driver casualties in Victoria. Peak periods on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nightsMed J Aust1606608PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bollen, KA 1983Temporal variations in mortality: a comparison of U.S. suicides and motor vehicle fatalities, 1972–1976Demography204559PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Phillips, DP, King, EW 1988Death takes a holiday: mortality surrounding major social occasionsLancet2728732CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Phillips, DP, Smith, DG 1990Postponement of death until symbolically meaningful occasionsJama263 19471951CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Phillips, DP, Voorhees, CA, Ruth, TE 1992The birthday: lifeline or deadline?Psychosom Med54532542PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Young, DC, Hade, EM 2004Holidays, birthdays, and postponement of cancer deathJAMA29230123016CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Phillips, DP, Jarvinen, JR, Abramson, IS, Phillips, RR 2004Cardiac mortality is higher around Christmas and New Year’s than at any other time: The holidays as a risk factor for deathCirculation11037813788CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Gould M. The Killing Season. Guardian 12th May, 2004Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Barry, WA, Rosenthal, GE 2003Is there a July phenomenon? The effect of July admission on intensive care mortality and length of stay in teaching hospitalsJ Gen Intern Med.18639645CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Claridge, JA, Schulman, AM, Sawyer, RG, Ghezel- Ayagh, A, Young, JS 2001The ‘July phenomenon’ and the care of the severely injured patient: fact or fiction?Surgery130346353CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Myles, TD 2003Is there an obstetric July phenomenon?Obstet Gynecol10210801084CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Shulkin, DJ 1995The July phenomenon revisited: are hospital complications associated with new house staff?Am J Med Qual101417PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    NIST/SEMATECH e-Handbook of Statistical Methods. http://www.itl.nist.gov/div898/handbook/pmd/section1/pmd144.htm (accessed 11th July 2005)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Dean, AG, Arner, TG, Sunki, GG,  et al. 2002Epi InfoTM, a Database and Statistics Program for Public Health ProfessionalsCenters for Disease Control and PreventionAtlanta, Georgia, USAGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Kloner, RA 2004The ‘Merry Christmas Coronary’ and ‘Happy New Year Heart Attack’ PhenomenonCirculation11037443745CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Met Office: English Climate. http://www.metoffice. com/climate/uk/location/england/index.html, (accessed 11th July 2005)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    HPA National Surveillance of Influenza Activity Graphs 2004/05. http://www.hpa.org.uk/infections/topics_az/influenza/graphmenu0405.htm (accessed 11th July 2005)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Nichol, KL, Nordin, J, Mullooly, J, Lask, R, Fillbrandt, K, Iwane, M 2003Influenza vaccination and reduction in hospitalizations for cardiac disease and stroke among the elderlyN Engl J Med34813221332PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Population and Health SciencesUniversity of Newcastle upon Tyne,Tyne & Wear Strategic Health AuthorityNewcastle upon Tyne NE15 8NYEngland

Personalised recommendations