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Increased cardiovascular mortality associated with the turn of the millennium in Los Angeles County, California
  1. W Kenneth Poole2,
  2. Jason S Chi1,
  3. J Doyle Walton1,
  4. Sarah Kandefer2,
  5. Robert A Kloner1
  1. 1The Heart Institute, Good Samaritan Hospital, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA
  2. 2Research Triangle Institute, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr W K Poole
 Research Triangle Institute, 3040 Cornwallis Road, Post Office Box 12194, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA;

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The turn of the millennium attracted levels of public attention and excitement that far surpassed those of previous New Year’s changeovers. Concern about the reliability of computer systems, terrorist attacks, and other possible doomsday scenarios contributed to a heightened sense of anticipation worldwide. In addition, the holiday and New Year’s season can be simultaneously stressful and joyous. Cardiac morbidity and mortality increases during December and January1–3 even in regions with mild climates.4 Uniquely increased levels of stress, anxiety, and overindulgence at the turn of the millennium led us to hypothesise that the millennium changeover was associated with an increased number of deaths attributable to cardiac causes. Therefore, we analysed data from death certificates in Los Angeles County, California, to discover if the millennium changeover was associated with increased cardiovascular mortality. This is the first study to our knowledge that investigates the impact of the millennium changeover on cardiac deaths.


Daily death certificate data and population data were obtained from the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services Data Collection and Analysis Unit. The data were analysed by deaths attributable to ischaemic heart disease (IHD) and congestive heart disease (CHD). The investigated time periods were 15 December to 31 December and 1 January to 15 January for the year 1999–2000 and the control years …

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  • Funding: none.

  • Conflicts of interest: none declared.

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