U.S. citizens are more likely to die on Christmas Day than any other time of the year, according to a new study.
Analysis of U.S. death certificates between 1979 and 2004 found an extra 42,325 natural deaths in the two weeks starting with Christmas above the usual seasonal winter increase, reports the Daily Mail.
Researchers at the University of California said that mortality in general increased over the holidays, and deaths in hospitals rose dramatically on Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
The study found that more people died on hospital wards, or had died before arrival, on the public holidays than on any other days of the year.
Possible explanations behind the spike in deaths include overcrowding in emergency departments, winter travel, cold weather and substance abuse.
In an article in the Social Science and Medicine journal.