Birthday effect

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
James Lovelock (left) died on his 103rd birthday in 2022.[1] Maria Redaelli (right) died one day before her 114th birthday in 2013.[2]

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,[3] Switzerland,[4][5] Ukraine,[6] and the United States.[7][8] It is even studied within Major League Baseball players.[9]

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.[10][11] However, some studies found that women were more likely to die right before a birthday, and men were more likely to die right after.[12]

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.[7]

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.[3]

Famous people to have died on their birthdays include James Lovelock,[1] Levi P. Morton,[13] Frances E. Allen,[14] Julie Bishop,[15] Peter Dickinson,[16] Edward Seaga,[17] Grachan Moncur III,[18] and Phil Batt.[19]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "James Lovelock, creator of Gaia hypothesis, dies on 103rd birthday". the Guardian. 2022-07-27. Retrieved 2022-07-27.
  2. "Morta Maria Redaelli di Novate: era la più anziana d'Europa". MilanoToday.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Anderson, M (1975). "Relationship between month of birth and month of death in the elderly". British Journal of Preventive & Social Medicine. 29 (3): 151–156. doi:10.1136/jech.29.3.151. PMC 478908. PMID 1191883.
  4. Bovet, J; Spagnoli, J; Sudan, C (1997). "[Mortality and birthdays]". Sozial- und Präventivmedizin (in French). 42 (3): 151–161. doi:10.1007/bf01300566. PMID 9334087. S2CID 45657303.
  5. Ajdacic-Gross, Vladeta; et al. (2012). "Death has a preference for birthdays—an analysis of death time series". Annals of Epidemiology. 22 (8): 603–606. doi:10.1016/j.annepidem.2012.04.016. PMID 22658822.
  6. Vaiserman, Alexander; Grigoryev, Pavel; Belaya, Irina; Voitenko, Vladimir (2003). "Variation of mortality rate during the individual annual cycle". Biogerontology. 4 (4): 221–225. doi:10.1023/A:1025168932058. PMID 14501186. S2CID 22678145.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Phillips, David; Van Voorhees, Camilla; Ruth, Todd (1992). "The Birthday: Lifeline or Deadline?". Psychosomatic Medicine. 54 (5): 532–542. CiteSeerX doi:10.1097/00006842-199209000-00001. PMID 1438656. S2CID 12190316.
  8. Peña, Pablo (2015). "A not so happy day after all: Excess death rates on birthdays in the U.S". Social Science & Medicine. 126: 59–66. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.12.014. PMID 25528555.
  9. Abel, Ernest; Kruger, Michael (2009). "Mortality Salience of Birthdays on Day of Death in the Major Leagues". Death Studies. 33 (2): 175–184. doi:10.1080/07481180802138936. PMID 19143110. S2CID 8439436.
  10. Doblhammer, Gabrielle (1999). "Longevity and month of birth: Evidence from Austria and Denmark". Demographic Research. 1 (3): &#91, 22&#93, p. doi:10.4054/DemRes.1999.1.3. PMID 12178151.
  11. Medenwald, Daniel; Kuss, Oliver (2014). "Deaths and major biographical events: a study of all cancer deaths in Germany from 1995 to 2009". BMJ Open. 4 (4): e004423. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-004423. PMC 3987729. PMID 24694623.
  12. Zusne, Leonard (1987). "Some Factors Affecting the Birthday-Deathday Phenomenon". OMEGA: Journal of Death and Dying. 17 (1): 9–26. doi:10.2190/RR4D-4W0L-5QAK-X4YX. S2CID 144694845.
  13. "Levi P. Morton is Dead on his 96th Birthday". The Sun and the New York Herald. New York, NY. May 17, 1920. p. 1.
  14. Frances Allen, first woman to win Turing Award for contributions to computing, dies at 88
  15. Oliver, Myrna (September 9, 2001). "Julie Bishop, 87; Actress Was in 84 Movies". LA Times. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  16. "Carnegie winning children's author Peter Dickinson dies". BBC News. 17 December 2015.
  17. "Former Jamaican Prime Minister Edward Seaga dies at 89". Archived from the original on 2019-05-28. Retrieved 2019-05-28.
  18. Chinen, Nate (3 June 2022). "Grachan Moncur III, trailblazing jazz trombonist, dies at 85". NPR. Retrieved 4 June 2022.
  19. "Former Idaho Gov. Phil Batt dead at 96". 1927-03-04. Retrieved 2023-03-04.