KSNF/KODE— There’s something grim about your birthday also being your deathday. Talk about a party foul.
It’s called the “birthday effect” or sometimes referred to as the “birthday blues” when the cause of death is suicide. It’s a phenomenon where someone’s likelihood of death seems to increase on or close to their birthday.
Many studies have been done on the correlation between birthdays and deathdays but one of the most notable comes from a Swiss study that analyzed data from mortality statistics between 1969–2008 of more than 2.3 million people. It found that 13.8% more people died on their birthday than on any other day.
It seems that birthdays tend to end more fatally than one may expect. Findings from the study concluded women were more likely to die from natural causes like heart disease and stroke on their birthdays than men. Strangely, the study found men had a more brutal end on their birthdays. Of all the suicides and fatal accidents observed as the cause of death on the individual’s birthday, it only occurred in men. Surprisingly, cancer deaths were also in excess.
There’s speculation that one may try to hold out until a certain age and that looking forward to a significant date or event somehow aids in postponing death. In contrast, the impending age increase may be stressful enough to kill someone. Many researchers theorize that the increase in alcohol and food consumption around birthdays contributes to the increase in deaths. However, there’s really no way to prove these claims, leaving it all up to speculation.