T.S. Eliot might have called April "the cruelest month." But data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that January really deserves the honor.
In January more people die in Southern California than any other months, according to CDC data showing the number of deaths and their causes over the past five years.
In the period from January to January, 46,962 people died in California. December comes second with 44,219 deaths. March and February are the third and fourth, with 42,620 and 40,740 deaths, respectively.
Here are the five most common causes of death in January:
– Alzheimer's disease: 3,127
– Lung cancer: 2,208
– Myocardial Infarction: 2,314
– Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): 2,239
These figures raise the question: Why are the winter months so dangerous? And why is January the deadliest?
No direct line can be drawn between cause and effect to explain this phenomenon. Doctors and doctors, however, who report these numbers in the form of overcrowded emergency rooms and deceased patients, admit that things will get pretty bad in January.
Flu is a factor?
A majority of people in January could have died heart problems and lung problems.
But people with these underlying health conditions could be in serious trouble if they also have the flu, Dr. Salvador Hernandez, Chief of Infectious Diseases Department at Kaiser Permanente Orange County] "If you're an elderly person with heart disease or COPD and you get flu, it can be very complicated," he said.
The flu, according to Hernandez, could be exactly the reason for January when it comes to deaths in Southern California.
He says he sees mid-January emergency departments and hospitals getting really busy.
"There may be many reasons for this increase," Hernandez said. "Many people travel during the holidays. People gather in closed spaces – shopping malls, apartments, airports. It could take up to seven days for flu symptoms to appear. "
In the past two weeks, two people have died from the flu in Orange County, Hernandez said. The youngest victim is 48 years old. old man.
If you combine all of these factors with the way people do not take care of themselves during the holidays, the consequences can be deadly, he said.
"They tend to visit this doctor after the holidays," Hernandez said. "People are pretty busy during the holidays and usually do not care about their health."
"A Little Bump"
Also in Los Angeles County, there is an increase in deaths at this time of year, Jonathan Lucas, county medical examiner.
"We only get a small percentage of natural deaths," he said. "But even then we'll see a bit of a bump."
Lucas said he noticed the January increase not only in Los Angeles County, but also in San Diego, where he recently served as deputy chief physician. [19659002JanuarywasthethinnesttimewhenothercommunicablediseasessuchasmeaslesandcoughingwerereportedDrAlexandraClarkDistributorsfortheGeneralPhadiatricsandLomaLindaUniversityHealth
First aid against viral diseases such as influenza, measles and whooping cough was the best prevention, she added.
"There is nothing in life that has no risk, and vaccines also have a low risk," she said. "But the risk of getting sick and suffering a significant complication from the infection is far greater than any risk factor created by the vaccine itself."
Hernandez agrees that vaccinations are the only way "that we can make a bump". 19659002] "It's not perfect, but it's the best way," he said. "A seat belt can not save your life in a serious accident, but in a slight collision. The flu vaccine is similar. It's better than nothing.
Data reporter Nikie Johnson contributed to this story.