January 1 is the deadliest day of the year, it's official.
While it has long been documented there are more deaths in the winter and fewer in the summer, it was only a few years ago it was discovered that New Year's day is actually the day with the most deaths of all.
A sociology professor at the University of California at San Diego, David Phillips, pored over 57 million US death certificates between 1979 and 2004, and made the discovery, as the Washington Post reports and charts:
In fact, January usually reigns supreme as the month for deaths, as shown by CDC data for fatalities from all causes:
The really interesting thing about this data, is that New Year's Day doesn't take the top spot simply due to accidents.
The deaths are generally attributed to illness, disease and natural causes rather than accidents and homicides.
Phillips suggested that the reasons behind this may be because "people postpone going into the ER around the holidays because they want to be with their family", or that hospitals may be understaffed around holidays as more experience workers take time off.
All we know presently is that more research is needed to completely identify the cause of the spike, and that you shouldn't put off a visit to the doctor on Boxing Day.
(H/T Washington Post)