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Good People Die on Their Birthday

Plamena M.Plamena M.

There is an old belief that states that good people die on their birthday. And birthdays are something that everyone experiences in their own individual way. The birth date is also related to a particular amount of fatalism. According to scientists, there are things significantly more frightening than overeating and overdrinking on our birthday.

Recently, Swiss scientists came upon a bewildering statistic. According to the study, the chance of dying on your birthday is 14% greater than on any other day of the year.

The experts analyzed the data on 2.5 million deaths in Switzerland in the period between 1969 in 2008. It appears that birthdays had a fatal end more often than was expected.

The hypotheses for this phenomenon, of course, are many. Some say that when a person feels death coming they wait until their birthday to leave this world. Another argument is that a person feels invincible on their birth date and takes on more risks than the other days of the year.

A large part of the death cases for example are the result of driving a car while intoxicated, usually after a party to celebrate the occasion.


Based on statistics from the University of Cambridge's prof. David Spiegelhalter, the effect is doubtlessly connected to the birthdays themselves. He claims that there is something on your birthday that actually kills, not some type of psychological causes.

But the authors of the study claim that the data on birthday death cases clearly indicate that the risk of a fatal end is greater due to very specific reasons, mainly accidents and suicide.

Spiegelhalter counters that the information has a uniform 14% rise in all causes. This is an extensive study with 2.5 million death cases that have been looked into. The results reveal barely 900 cases where the people had the same date of birth as their date of death.

It is a possibility for officials to be using the date of death as the date of birth as well, when the date of birth of a certain person is unknown, just so they can fill out the required field in the document. Another similar instance is for the officials, in their rush to fill out the documents, to be writing the same date in both fields by accident.

And if we accept that mistakes occur in only 0.04% of the death certificates that are filled out, the entire mystery becomes quite solvable. Thus, the extra risk of death on one's birthday falls down to about 4%.