A recently published study argues that the rate of heart attacks increases significantly on Christmas Eve.
The study took place in Sweden over a period of 16 years, from 1998 to 2014. Over 283,000 heart attacks were reported, centralized and analyzed during the study. The results are quite grim.
It seems that the number of heart attacks starts to increase constantly in the middle of June, when Swedish citizens gather to celebrate the Midsummer holiday.
The risk of a heart attack rose significantly during Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day but it remained lower on New Year’s Eve. During these days the risk to have a heart attack was up to 15% higher in comparison to other close and reached a dangerous peak on Christmas Eve when the risk rose to 40% higher in comparison to other time intervals.
The exact cause cannot be traced but there may be several contributing factors, among which we can count emotional stress, over-indulgence when it comes to food and drinks, smoking and increased alcohol consumption.
On the other hand, no additional risk was spotted during Easter or sporting events, further underlining that something is different during the summer and winter periods.
One researcher noted that emotions may play a big role in the equation. Intense feelings of despair, anger, sadness, stress and grief have been previously proved to be able to affect the cardiovascular system in a negative manner.
According to official statics provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention an American dies every 40 seconds due to heart attack. The heart attack takes place when a major muscle in the heart won’t receive a sufficient amount of blood. If the problem is not addressed after it is discovered, the muscle will be damaged over time, sometimes beyond the possibility of healing.
Further research is needed in order to confirm the study, which has been published in a peer-reviewed British medical journal.