A new study in the CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) suggests that mortality rates in several Mediterranean countries decline in September, due in part to environmental factors but possibly linked to summer vacations.
The study looked at official statistics for Greece, Cyprus, Italy, France and Spain.
Extreme heat and cold are associated with an increased risk of death.
In North America and Sweden, August is the lowest month for mortality, in Japan it is July, and in Australia, it is March (the counterpart to September in the southern hemisphere).
The authors call for additional research to clarify the possible causes of these drops in mortality rates.