Christmas and New Year as risk factors for death

Overview of attention for article published in Social Science & Medicine (1967), August 2010
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  • In the top 5% of all articles scored by Altmetric
  • One of the highest-scoring articles from this source (#9 of 2,485)
  • High score compared to articles of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High score compared to articles of the same age and source (98th percentile)

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mendeley
16 Mendeley
citeulike
1 CiteULike
connotea
1 Connotea
Article title
Christmas and New Year as risk factors for death
Published in
Social Science & Medicine (1967), August 2010
DOI 10.1016/j.socscimed.2010.07.024
Pubmed ID
Abstract

This paper poses three questions: (1) Does mortality from natural causes spike around Christmas and New Year? (2) If so, does this spike exist for all major disease groups or only specialized groups? (3) If twin holiday spikes exist, need this imply that Christmas and New Year are risk factors for death? To answer these questions, we used all official U.S. death certificates, 1979-2004 (n = 57,451,944) in various hospital settings to examine daily mortality levels around Christmas and New Year. We measured the Christmas increase by comparing observed deaths with expected deaths in the week starting on Christmas. The New Year increase was measured similarly. The expected number of deaths was determined by locally weighted regression, given the null hypothesis that mortality is affected by seasons and trend but not by holidays. On Christmas and New Year, mortality from natural causes spikes in dead-on-arrival (DOA) and emergency department (ED) settings. There are more DOA/ED deaths on 12/25, 12/26, and 1/1 than on any other day. In contrast, deaths in non-DOA/ED settings display no holiday spikes. For DOA/ED settings, there are holiday spikes for each of the top five disease groups (circulatory diseases; neoplasms; respiratory diseases; endocrine/nutritional/metabolic diseases; digestive diseases). For all settings combined, there are holiday spikes for most major disease groups and for all demographic groups, except children. In the two weeks starting with Christmas, there is an excess of 42,325 deaths from natural causes above and beyond the normal winter increase. Christmas and New Year appear to be risk factors for deaths from many diseases. We tested nine possible explanations for these risk factors, but further research is needed.

Twitter Demographics

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 16 Mendeley readers of this article. Click here to see the article's page on the Mendeley website.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United Kingdom 2 13%
Sweden 1 6%
Germany 1 6%
Australia 1 6%
Unknown 11 69%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Ph.D. Student 6 38%
Student (Postgraduate) 2 13%
Professor 2 13%
Lecturer 1 6%
Student (Bachelor) 1 6%
Other 4 25%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine 7 44%
Psychology 6 38%
Biological Sciences 1 6%
Economics 1 6%
Chemistry 1 6%
Other 0 0%

Score in context

This article has an Altmetric score of 89.86. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that this article has received. This score was calculated when the article was last mentioned on 26 December 2014.
All articles
#24,447
of 3,818,068 articles
Articles in Social Science & Medicine (1967)
#9
of 2,485 articles
Articles of similar age
#1,002
of 232,205 articles
Articles of similar age in Social Science & Medicine (1967)
#1
of 73 articles
Altmetric has tracked 3,818,068 articles across all sources so far. Compared to these this article has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all articles ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 2,485 articles from this source. They typically receive a little more attention than average, with a mean score of 6.1. This article has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its peers.
Older articles will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this score to the 232,205 tracked articles that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This article has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this article to 73 articles from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This article has done particularly well, scoring higher than 98% of its contemporaries.