Death Rates Spike on Birthdays
But birthday suicides only increase among men
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 11, 2012 7:16 PM CDT
An innocent cake, or a killer?   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – On your next birthday, plan something simple—like surviving the rest of the day. Researchers who analyzed more than two million people for 40 years found that death by fall, stroke, heart attack, and suicide spiked on birthdays, the Telegraph reports. "Birthdays end lethally more frequently than might be expected," says Dr Vladeta Ajdacic-Gross, who notes that the risk increases with age. For those over 60, it rises 14%.

One psychologist sees two camps: those who argue that birthday over-eating kills the elderly, and those who say people tend to stay alive until their birthday. Then "you think, 'That's it, I've had enough, I'm out of here.'" One professor in Britain notes that birthday suicides only increase among men: "Perhaps men are more likely to make a statement about their unhappiness when they think people will be taking more notice of them."

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Showing 3 of 11 comments
ExceleRater
Jun 12, 2012 8:02 AM CDT
I have never died on my birthday. So far, so good.
ladyrosedeky
Jun 11, 2012 11:21 PM CDT
So the theory is, if this article is to be believed, that men commit suicide on their birthday because we will pay more attention to them if they do it on their birthday. Boy, what a messed up theory if that's true. If people weren't paying attention before, they sure aren't going to pay attention once they're dead.
Jojo
Jun 11, 2012 8:40 PM CDT
Love that this story started popping up today, 2 days before mine. *quickly writes will*