Christmas stress 'causes heart attacks'

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Christmas stress 'causes heart attacks'
A third more people are taken to hospital with heart attacks on Christmas Even and Christmas Day. Photo: DPA

The chances of suffering a heart attack leap over the Christmas holidays, according to a German study released on Monday. Stress from family and work are behind the sudden jump, with men most at risk.


Over Christmas a third more people are taken to hospital with heart attacks than the rest of the year, the study from health insurers DAK-Gesundheit found.

The insurers compared medical data from the last four years and found that from 2009 to 2012 there was an average of 40 admissions to hospitals on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for heart attacks, compared to an average of 30 for the rest of the year.

Peter Rowohlt from DAK-Gesundheit said: “The culmination around Christmas in all four years one after the other is very striking.”

Christmas Eve in Germany appears to be particularly bad for men’s health.

The insurers said stress, both from personal lives and careers, were the main reason behind the increase. Buying presents, organizing gatherings, and fulfilling the expectations of family and friends all added to stress already present from work.  

The health insurers said sport and a healthy diet was the best ways to prevent heart attacks.

READ MORE: Germans fall out of love with Christmas Lebkuchen



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