American Consequences - December 2017

By Dr. David Eifrig

Three Tips to Kick the Holiday Blues


f I were a betting man, I’d lay good money down that you and I will die in the winter.

I’m not exaggerating. You might think you have a one-in-12 chance of dying in any given month. But it doesn’t work that way. Your chance of dying in December and January is much higher... while months like September and June are lower.

doesn’t do them any favors. We’re also stuck indoors with heaters and burning fireplaces. Those release particulate matter into the air, which can cause inflammation. And inflammation, as we know, contributes to heart disease, America’s No. 1 killer. But there’s something more... You see, folks in New Zealand also experience this problem. Even though the country is in the Southern Hemisphere and has warm summer weather during December and January, its rates of mortality spike during the holidays, too. So perhaps it’s not your fireplace or snotty grandkid? I believe the underlying factor is stress . When the holidays come around, we do too much, travel too much, spend too much, and – for some folks – log too many hours with our families.

You might think you

have a one- in-12 chance

of dying in any given

month. But it doesn’t work that way.

Worse, the number of deaths spikes on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day . The factors driving this wave of mortality are complicated. Many of the victims are in their older years. The Northern Hemisphere cold

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