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Top Causes of Death During the Holidays

4 Causes of Death That Increase at the Holidays
4 Causes of Death That Increase at the Holidays
4 Causes of Death That Increase at the Holidays

Millions of people look forward to the holidays every year, even though the celebratory time increases your chance of dying in certain ways. It appears that when Santa Clause comes to town he brings extra risk along with him. Some of the top causes of death during the holidays seem obvious while others are a bit surprising. Either way direct cremation providers notice the increase in December.

Keep reading to find out what causes of death increase in the holiday season and why.

Heart Attacks

Did you know that Christmas Day is the #1 day of the year for heart attacks? Studies have found that cardiac mortality is higher during the holidays

Stress and anxiety levels rise during the holidays for many people, which can have a ripple effect on your health. If you have a heart condition the added stress could be enough to cause a heart attack. Other factors that heighten the risk include cold weather that constricts blood flow and overindulgence in foods that make matters worse. And what’s known as “holiday heart attacks” are brought on by alcohol consumption that causes a-fib. 

Another contributing factor that increases the risk of dying from a heart attack is reluctance to go to the hospital on a holiday. Putting off seeing a medical professional could be a life-threatening mistake. 


The holidays are known as stroke season. A person is more likely to have a stroke during and just after the holidays for many of the same reasons a heart attack is more likely. Stress that increases blood pressure is a primary cause. Alcohol consumption is another cause for the increase in strokes during the holiday season.


Accidents are a leading cause of death at any time of year, but there appears to be an uptick in fatal accidents during the holidays. There are even more accidents reported in the workplace, which is partly attributed to fatigue. Many of the accidents can be credited to holiday activities and decor that cause: 

  • Falls off ladders
  • Shocks from electrical equipment
  • Tripping
  • Fires 

Fatigue is certainly a factor, but alcohol consumption also increases the risk of an accident happening during the holidays.

Car Wrecks

One of the most common types of accident is car wrecks. During the holidays when people are traveling, the likelihood of being involved in a car accident increases. There are a number of factors connected to the increase, like:

  • Alcohol consumption
  • Dangerous road conditions
  • Distractions 
  • Fatigue

During the holidays it’s best to plan ahead and play it safe. Avoid driving if the roads are icy and never drive if you’ve indulged with a few alcoholic beverages or are feeling tired. 

Silverlining: There’s a Lower Risk of Death by Suicide 

Mental health professionals may be busier during the holidays because that’s when some clients need them the most and new clients may seek assistance. Luckily, suicidal ideation is less of an issue during the holidays.

There’s a common misconception that higher rates of depression must mean higher suicide rates around the holidays when in fact suicide rates tend to decline in the winter. According to research from the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) December is the month with the fewest instances of death by suicide

Direct Cremate is here for you this holiday season if you’ve lost someone. We’re available by phone or text every day of the week to arrange fast, affordable direct cremation that’s easy to arrange even during the holidays.