Dec 23, 2016

By Jane Brown

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Previous research in the U.S. and U.K. has pointed to what’s known as the Christmas Holiday Effect which is linked to higher rates of heart-related death.

But one alternative explanation has been that it’s the cold weather, not Christmas itself.

But Researchers in New Zealand say that may not be the case. They studied heart-related deaths during the Christmas holidays — in a place where Christmas occurs during the summer, effectively eliminating factors such as cold weather, respiratory illnesses and increased air pollution.

They found that between December 25th and January 7th, out-of-hospital cardiac deaths tended to be higher and the average age of people dying from heart-related causes was one year younger than average.

You can read about the study in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

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