Analysing more than 2.4 million deaths over a 40-year period, researchers from the University of Zurich concluded that we are 14 per cent more likely to make like William Shakespeare and die on an anniversary of our birth.
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That risk increases with age, with people over 60 18 per cent more likely die on their birthday.
Researchers put the spike down to an increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease [18.6 per cent], while you are also 21.5 per cent more likely to suffer a stroke. Figures revealed that there was also a 10.8 per cent rise in deaths among people with cancer. Statistically there was also a 34.9 per cent rise in suicides amongst men.
Those planning to celebrate their big day in style may want to think twice as there was a 44 per cent rise in deaths from falls, added to a 28.5 per cent increase in accidental deaths.
Academics concluded that stress surrounding birthdays was also a determining factor as the “anniversary reaction” [more commonly known as the “birthday blues”] hits home.
“[The study] is a great example of the value of super-large amounts of human data,” University of Roehampton environmental physiology lecturer Dr Lewis Halsey told the Independent. “Only with national-level statistics, carefully recorded over many years, can subtle patterns such as these significant increases in death rates on birthdays be uncovered.
"One interesting finding is that more suicides happen on birthdays, though only in men,” he added. “The authors suggest that this increase could be related to more alcohol being drunk on birthdays.”
Perhaps a low key celebration this year?