Published June 11, 2012
A new study has revealed you are 14 percent more likely to die on your birthday.
The Swiss study, published in the Annals of Epidemiology, analyzed 2.4 million deaths over a 40-year period and showed that the "birthday blues" can be lethal, The Independent reported Sunday.
Results extracted from a vast amount of data concluded that there were 13.8 percent more deaths on birthdays when compared with any other day of the year. The risk increased with age, with the figure rising to 18 percent in people aged over 60.
Birthday fatality figures for individual diseases show that there was an 18.6 percent increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks, and a higher risk of up to 21.5 percent for strokes on birthdays. There was also a 10.8 percent rise in deaths among people with cancer.
A 34.9 percent rise in suicides amongst men was noted and a 28.5 percent increase in accidental deaths. There was also a 44 percent rise in fatal falls on birthdays.
Researchers are divided when it comes to explaining why people are more likely to die on their birthdays. One possible explanation -- the postponement theory -- suggests that gravely ill people wait until their birthday in an attempt to reach another milestone. But some researchers say the postponement theory is not entirely supported by their findings.
Alternatively, the anniversary theory argues the birthday event itself is responsible for the increased likelihood of death.
Authors of the study said stress played a significant part in birthday deaths, attributing fatalities to an "anniversary reaction" more commonly understood as the "birthday blues."