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View Full Version : Are you more likely to die on your own birthday?



Perikles
2012-Jun-30, 04:39 PM
According to this report (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-18626157), yes. 14% more likely than any other day, apparently. What I always find interesting about these kind of statistics is that they often become some kind of common knowledge, when the statistical correlation could be interpreted by some kind of error, in this case, incorrect date of death. Any comments?

profloater
2012-Jun-30, 04:56 PM
I saw that report and the reasons given do seem plausible, I heard Christmas day is also a higher chance for the same reasons, (depression for lonely, too much food and drink for the social). You can defeat the odds by making sure you party every weekend and read bad news every day! How do these statistics cope with the certainty that everyone dies one day?

KaiYeves
2012-Jul-01, 12:02 AM
I would say that it's probably somewhat more likely, as people are inclined to do things they might not otherwise do-- eat less-healthy food, drink more, try an extreme sport, etc.

Gemini
2012-Jul-01, 03:13 AM
I would say that it's probably somewhat more likely, as people are inclined to do things they might not otherwise do-- eat less-healthy food, drink more, try an extreme sport, etc.

It's like the saying goes, " if at first you don't succeed, skydiving is probably not for you,."

TJMac
2012-Jul-01, 03:38 PM
One thing mentioned as a possible reason in the article. "Hanging on" until a milestone has been reached. Is that really possible? Has it been proven? Or is that just something we like to think?

Does one, can one, make a conscious decision to not die now, or in reverse, to reach a point where its "OK" to die?

When my mother passed away, years ago, I drove considerably above the speed limit for over 2 hours to get to the hospital. As far as I could tell, she passed away while I was in the elevator
going up to her floor. Someone mentioned, she just couldn't hold on any longer. The reality hadn't set in yet, and my grief tends to work in a what-needs-done-now way, with the actual emotional pain coming later, and I remember clearly thinking, how do you "hold on" when you are dying.

Is that just a bit of popular folklore, or is a real thing?

TJ

BigDon
2012-Jul-01, 07:26 PM
It's complicated but real.

Noclevername
2012-Jul-01, 10:04 PM
My bro-in-law's grandfather died just after he told his wife "Honey, I'm going to die today." Sat down on his favorite chair, and minutes later passed on.

DonM435
2012-Jul-05, 03:45 PM
I thought that it was more likely than usual for someone to die after a birthday, particularly a landmark one. Some depressed people hang on for the birthday (or holiday), and after it's passed suffer a decline.

Trebuchet
2012-Jul-05, 03:53 PM
I wonder how many people (in the USA) die on their 21st birthday, after a celebration involving massive amounts of now-legal booze?

Chuck
2012-Jul-05, 04:21 PM
Is a forgetful husband more likely to die on his wife's birthday than on his own?

Perikles
2012-Jul-05, 04:30 PM
I wonder how many people (in the USA) die on their 21st birthday, after a celebration involving massive amounts of now-legal booze?The study didn't seem to comment on which birthday was the most fateful. I suspect that even though drinking until you bleed seems to be obligatory on this event, at 21 the body is probably at its peak of resistance to abuse. That, and deaths from alcohol are usually caused by systematic liver damage (Im only guessing).

Having said that, there seems to be a huge upsurge in 'balconing' especially by young (British?) adults on holiday in Spain, mainly the Balearics and Tenerife. This involves the brilliant idea of jumping off the balcony of your holiday apartment into the communal swimmingpool below. Usually late at night, with (my guess) a correlation with birthday parties. Often, though, there isn't a swimmingpool below, or not below enough, so natural selection by stupidity takes place. This might just have some effect on the 'birthday' correlation.

NEOWatcher
2012-Jul-05, 05:32 PM
The study didn't seem to comment on...
I think you took Treb way too seriously. It was a funny post.



I thought that it was more likely than usual for someone to die after a birthday, particularly a landmark one. Some depressed people hang on for the birthday (or holiday), and after it's passed suffer a decline.
I would think that too, but the study showed no dips or rises before or after the birthday.

Perikles
2012-Jul-05, 05:37 PM
I think you took Treb way too seriously. It was a funny post..Yes it was, but I thought it had some serious merit. And it reminded me of balconing.

profloater
2012-Jul-05, 05:50 PM
Birthday Balconing would tend to favour (if that is the appropriate word) the summer birthdays while depression brought on by Vitamin D deficiency must favour the winter births. But surely Chuck has hit the elephant in the room here:rolleyes:

BigDon
2012-Jul-05, 06:09 PM
Smoke, mirrors, and statistical illusions.

You are MUCH more likely to die on somebody else's birthday. Seeing as how there are 364 more of THOSE in a year than an individual's birthday.

I spend a lot of time in the local cemetaries. And I have never once seen a co-inciding birth and last day. We even look for that.

Prior to about 1930 there is a disturbing amount of children though. Childhood diseases I would guess.

Perikles
2012-Jul-05, 07:00 PM
You are MUCH more likely to die on somebody else's birthday. Seeing as how there are 364 more of THOSE in a year than an individual's birthday.

I spend a lot of time in the local cemetaries. And I have never once seen a co-inciding birth and last day. We even look for that.
.Sure, but I bet you need to look at around several tens of thousands of graves to see any date correlation of any significance. Who has time for that? And would you admit to it if you did?

BigDon
2012-Jul-05, 09:23 PM
Sure, but I bet you need to look at around several tens of thousands of graves to see any date correlation of any significance. Who has time for that? And would you admit to it if you did?

Which tells you...?

Trebuchet
2012-Jul-06, 12:25 AM
My "21st birthday" post was indeed half serious. I just Googled "21st birthday drinking death (http://www.google.com/#hl=en&safe=off&output=search&sclient=psy-ab&q=21st+birthday+drinking+deaths&oq=21st+birthday+drinking+deaths&gs_l=hp.3..0i30.1031.9205.1.9850.29.14.0.15.15.0.4 37.2381.3j8j1j0j2.14.0...0.0.UevTyVY2Oa4&psj=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=4a7734df38a3f986&biw=1152&bih=748)" and got 1,820,000 hits, the first page of which are right on topic.

BigDon
2012-Jul-06, 05:15 AM
My "21st birthday" post was indeed half serious. I just Googled "21st birthday drinking death (http://www.google.com/#hl=en&safe=off&output=search&sclient=psy-ab&q=21st+birthday+drinking+deaths&oq=21st+birthday+drinking+deaths&gs_l=hp.3..0i30.1031.9205.1.9850.29.14.0.15.15.0.4 37.2381.3j8j1j0j2.14.0...0.0.UevTyVY2Oa4&psj=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=4a7734df38a3f986&biw=1152&bih=748)" and got 1,820,000 hits, the first page of which are right on topic.

And by the tenth page nothing but porn references...

DonM435
2012-Jul-09, 02:22 PM
There could be some recording quirk (as hinted at in the initial posting). Perhaps the local officials assign some arbitrary date within a year when it is unknown (e.g., January 1), and when both are unknown, voila, a birthday death! Of course, a spike in the data around one particular date really ought to be obvious. (Have you ever noticed how the "Happy Birthday" section on many message boards swell on Jan. 1? I suspect that's the default assigned when unspecified.)

Another thing may be the self-fulfilling prophecy: You keep telling some sick old guy that he's most likely to die next birthday, I'd say there's a pretty good chance that he will, eventually.