The birthday effect (sometimes called the birthday blues, especially when talking about suicide) is a statistical phenomenon where the chances of a person's death is higher on or close to their birthday. The birthday effect has been seen in studies in England and Wales, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United States. It is even studied within Major League Baseball players.
Some studies find that men's and women's mortality rates are higher near their birthdays. Other studies do not find that gender affects high death rates around birthdays. However, some studies found that women were more likely to die right before a birthday, and men were more likely to die right after.
Some reasons for people dying near or on their birthdays are said to be related to alcohol drinking, stress, higher suicide risk, or terminally ill patients trying to stay alive until their birthday. Another cause could be a yearly cycle (similar to the circadian rhythm) that causes the body to weaken.
A study in England and Wales found that there was a statistically significant birthday effect in men and women (never married, married, divorced and widowed) but it was not seen in the population as a whole.
Famous people to have died on their birthdays include James Lovelock, Levi P. Morton, Frances E. Allen, Julie Bishop, Peter Dickinson, Edward Seaga, Grachan Moncur III, and Phil Batt.
References[change | change source]
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