PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The holiday season is fast approaching and oftentimes brings with it plenty of stress. A research team from Lund University in Sweden found that it is far more likely for someone to have a a heart attack around major holidays than they are around major sporting events.
According to a study titled “Christmas, National Holidays, Sport Events, And Time Factors As Triggers Of Acute Myocardial Infarction,” major holidays such as Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Good Friday, and Easter Day are the most common to influence symptoms of a heart attack.
Researchers analyzed data, which includes all patients who have had symptoms of a heart attack and were admitted to a specialized cardiac care facility in Sweden.
With this information, they compared the rates of heart attacks that happened two weeks before and two weeks after the aforementioned holidays and one year before and one year after popular sporting events, including the World Cup and the European Championship.
They studied 15 years’ worth of data, involving approximately 283,014 cases of heart attacks from the database and found that the risk of heart attacks was higher during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays on both the eve and day.
Their research also found that the more common times for heart attacks were the last week of the calendar year, Mondays, and at 8 a.m.
Christmas Eve yielded the highest observed risk of a heart attack with a 37 percent increase.
Other studies have also indicated that heart attacks are common around holidays, such as ones published in the Circulation journal or the European Journal of Epidemiology. Both of those studies were published over 10 years ago.