Christmas is a festival of happiness and people all around the globe celebrate the fest with great pomp and show. However, a team of researchers has noted a steep increase in the rate of heart attacks for two weeks starting from Christmas Day to January 7.
Sudden hike in number of deaths due to heart attack is not due to extreme cold temperature but excess stress due to the festive season, claims study authors.
“Spikes in deaths from natural causes during Christmas and New Year’s Day has been previously established in the US,” said study author Josh Knight from the University of Melbourne in Australia. “However, the Christmas holiday period (December 25th to January 7th) in the US falls within the coldest period of the year when death rates are already seasonally high due to low temperatures and influenza,” Knight said.
For the study, researchers observed death trends in New Zealand and found that deaths due to heart attack saw increment during Christmas summers which rules out any possibility of winter season behind such trend all around the globe.
Researchers found that deaths due to heart attack increased by 4.2 percent in Christmas season and they blame stress for the deaths. In addition, the global average age for cardiac death is 77.1 years while it comes down to 76.2 years during Christmas season.
“We’ll see people come in with chest pains and most of the time it does turn out to be a heart attack,” said cardiologist Gary Daniel. “During this time of year people are overeating quite a bit. Sometimes we’re drinking alcohol into excess, not always taking medications appropriately.”
People are extremely busy in festive season and they ignore small things which might lead to heart failure. They also don’t seek doctor’s advice before situation becomes worse. Therefore, study authors advised people to seek doctor’s advice and take proper medical help in festive season to prevent any mishap. Researchers also pointed out that some people don’t even notice that they are in stress in the festive season especially after Christmas.
The findings are still in preliminary stages and more research is required to confirm the study. However, the study has come as an eye-opener for many. Although, festive season is meant to celebrate and spread happiness, but lack of attention to health can submerge you in shadow of darkness and sorrow.
The study appeared in the JAHA: Journal of the American Heart Association.