In which month of the year are you more likely to die?

In which month of the year are you more likely to die?

According to a new American analysis, certain months of the year are more deadly than others. And guess what? We are right in it. Be careful!

We often think, wrongly, that the end of the year with the Christmas period is the period which sees the most deaths. But according to an analysis published by The Washington Post on February 16, the reality would be somewhat different.

The first months of the year, the time when people die the most

According to data analysis collected by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): out of 66.8 million deaths counted since 1999, January is the month with the most deaths. The months of February and March then take their place on the podium, then finally December. Only months where, like in Europe, it is colder.

Here, INSEE figures confirm this trend: out of 87 years examined, 49 would have experienced a peak in deaths in January.

And no, it would not be due to suicides, which we readily imagine to be more pronounced in gray weather. Their number would indeed be on the rise in April and May with a peak… in August.

The cold would weaken us

Seasonal variations in the Northern Hemisphere are in fact one of the reasons for this winter massacre. There would in fact be 20% more deaths in January than in August, for example. A difference attributed to heart diseases and respiratory infections being more severe in winter, particularly among the elderly. “Winters are deadlier because the cold changes our bodies.” indicates demographer Roland Rau, who wrote a thesis on it.

“As temperatures drop, our blood vessels constrict. As they shrink, our heart works harder, our cardiac frequency and our blood pressure increase, and clot formation becomes more likely. If you are already at risk of heart attack or stroke, it is more likely to occur in winter.”

The notion of habit also changes the situation

But if the cold weakens us, why don’t cold countries experience more mortality than others? Why does Russia, for example, not experience this same mortality peak in winter when temperatures drop much more severely than in the United States?

For the demographer, a question of culture and adaptation is at stake. “In areas with colder winters, people are better dressed to face the cold. They wear more diapers, they spend less time outside.”

In other words, in our milder climates, it seems that we have a much more difficult time adapting to cold spells. At the risk of testing our bodies much more.