falls within the coldest period of the year when death rates are already seasonally high due to low temperatures and influenza,” said Josh Knight, B.Sc., study author and research fellow at the University of Melbourne in Australia. In this study, researchers analyzed trends in deaths in New Zealand, where Christmas occurs during the summer season when death rates are usually at a seasonal low — allowing researchers to separate any winter effect from a holiday effect. During a 25-year period (1988-2013), there were a total of 738,409 deaths (197,109 were noted as cardiac deaths). Researchers found: A 4.2 percent increase in heart-related deaths occurring away from a hospital from December 25 — January 7. The average age of cardiac death was 76.2 years during the Christmas period, compared with 77.1 years during other times of the year. get redirected hereThere are a range of theories that may explain the spike in deaths during the holiday season, including the Ta emotional stress associated with the holidays, changes in diet and alcohol consumption, less staff at medical facilities, and changes in the physical environment (for example visiting relatives). However, there have been few attempts to replicate prior studies. Although more research is needed to explain the spike in deaths, researchers suggest one possibility may be that patients hold back in seeking medical care during the holiday season. “The Christmas holiday period is a common time for travel within New Zealand, with people frequently holidaying away from their main medical facilities. This could contribute to delays in both seeking treatment, due to a lack of familiarity with nearby medical facilities, and due to geographic isolation from appropriate medical care in emergency situations,” Knight said Another explanation may have to do with a terminally ill patients’ will to live and hold off death for a day that is important to them. “The ability of individuals to modify their date of death based on dates of significance has been both confirmed and refuted in other studies, however it remains a possible explanation for this holiday effect,” Knight said.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161222191335.htm
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VIDEO:Robert Yeh, M.D., M.B.A., Director of the Smith Center for Outcomes Research within the CardioVascular Institution at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Creams Made With Vitamin B Have Been Found To Hydrated Skin Cells, Leaving Firmer, Healthier Looking Skin. | James Powell Rock Center, and Francesca Dominici, Ph.D., Senior Associate Dean for… view more Credit: BIDMC BOSTON – The Affordable Care Act (ACA) instituted financial penalties against hospitals with high rates of readmissions for Medicare patients with certain health conditions. A new analysis led by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Massachusetts General Hospital has found that the penalties levied under the law’s Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program were associated with reduced readmissions rates and that the poorest performing hospitals achieved the greatest reductions. The research appears online in The Annals of Internal Medicine on December 27, 2016. The Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program was enacted into law in 2010 and implemented in 2012 in response to the high numbers of patients who were readmitted within 30 cheers days of their initial discharge from the hospital after treatment for several common conditions — including heart failure, pneumonia and acute myocardial infarction (heart attack). While some readmissions may be unavoidable, there was evidence of wide variation in hospitals’ readmission rates before the ACA, suggesting that patients admitted to certain hospitals were more likely to experience readmissions compared to other hospitals. “Hospital readmissions represent a significant portion of potentially preventable medical expenditures, and they can take a physical and emotional toll on patients and their families,” said co-senior author Robert W. ta Yeh, MD, MBA, Director of the Smith Center for Outcomes Research in Cardiology at BIDMC and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-12/bidm-shr122016.php