International study says heart-related deaths increase at Christmas
“Spikes in deaths from natural causes during Christmas and New Year’s Day have been previously established in the United States,” study author and University of Melbourne Research Fellow Josh Knight said. "However, the Christmas holiday period (Dec. 25 to Jan. 7 in the U.S. falls within the coldest period of the year when death rates are already seasonally high due to low temperatures and influenza."
The study contained research that examined death trends in New Zealand. Christmas occurs during the summer in New Zealand, a season when death rates are normally low.
“The Christmas holiday period is a common time for travel within New Zealand, with people frequently holidaying away from their main medical facilities,” Knight said. “This could contribute to delays in both seeking treatment, due to a lack of familiarity with nearby medical facilities, and due to geographic isolation from appropriate medical care in emergency situations.”