What Makes Christmastime So Deadly? 

Washington Post: “Every winter, deaths from heart-related conditions rise in the United States. Plotted on a graph, the rise in deaths looks like a hill — with two spikes at the top when deaths sharply increase.”

“Now, a group of researchers has further ruled out any notion that the bump in holiday deaths could be accounted for by the overall wintertime effect. In a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers examined data from New Zealand, where the holidays fall in the middle of summer. They found that the number of cardiac-related deaths outside of hospitals rose 4 percent over the Christmas holiday — resulting in about four additional deaths per year in the small country.”

“No one knows exactly why this uptick happens, but Philip Clarke, an economist at the University of Melbourne who oversaw the new study, said that it’s possible that people are traveling over Christmas and may not be as familiar with medical facilities. They may forego care. It’s also possible that a change in diet or stress levels plays a role. Medical facilities may be less well-staffed.”

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2016 in Charts from The Economist

The Economist compiled nine charts that illustrate economic trends in the world this year.

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