Several studies have shown that the holiday season – notably the last week of December and early January – see the most out of- hospital heart attacks and cardiac deaths.
A “Christmas holiday effect” showing elevated cardiovascular mortality over the Christmas holidays (December 25 to January 7) was demonstrated previously in a study from the United States. To separate the effect of seasonality from any holiday effect, a matching analysis was conducted for New Zealand, where the Christmas holiday period falls within the summer season. Access the Journal of the American Heart Association study which explains ‘the Christmas holiday effect’. Various possible explanations exist for a mortality holiday effect, including the emotional stress associated with the holidays, changes in diet and alcohol consumption, less staff at medical facilities and changes in the physical environment (eg, visiting relatives).
American Heart Association Tips for Staying Healthy This Holiday Season:
Want more information about keeping track of your health?
Listen to our podcast, Q-Tips For Your Ears!
Q-Tips For Your Ears is designed for everyone; the intent is to share basic information on topics that matter. The Series was developed by Great Plains QIN Quality Improvement Advisors. We welcome suggestions for content; AND be sure to check back often for new Q-Tips For Your Ears!