Warning! Elections increase heart failure risk, GPs say

A recent study published in the Malta Medical Journal shows that the chances of dying from heart failure are higher during election years

james
James Debono
12 April 2017, 7:30am
A study by paediatrician Victor Grech concluded that the stress leading up to the elections in Malta causes the proportion of male babies born to decline
A study by paediatrician Victor Grech concluded that the stress leading up to the elections in Malta causes the proportion of male babies born to decline
For many, elections in Malta are a life-or-death matter. And a recent study published in the Malta Medical Journal shows that elections can really kill. According to the study, the chances of dying from heart failure are higher during election years.

“The results show that in Malta the chances of dying from heart failure during election years compared to non-election years increased substantially.”

This is one of the findings of a study, which seeks to explore the relationship between specific mortality rates and elections. 

The study includes a recommendation to the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Directorate to come up with an awareness campaign advising the public how they can recognise cardiac symptoms in a timely manner, before the start of the electoral campaign. 

“There should be an education campaign in place advising the public on how to keep generally healthy, and how to avoid unnecessary stress especially during the election period,” the study recommends. 

Yet, the study - authored by Elaine Claire Lautier, Kathleen England, Natasha Azzopardi Muscat, Neville Calleja and Dorothy Gauci - comes with a silver lining because during election years, the risk of death due to suicides was found to be approximately 40% lower when compared to non-election years.

“Since Malta is such a small country, during election time people might feel more involved and have something additional to look forward to in life”. 

The study also found an increased likelihood of dying from circulatory and cerebrovascular diseases during election years.

But the highest likelihood of death was from heart failure during the election year itself with death being 1.36 times more likely during election years compared to non-election years.

The latest study confirms the results of a study carried out by cardiologist Mark Sammut, which already showed that the incidence of both non-fatal and fatal acute cardiac coronary events increased during the election period. The study had found that 25 people died of cardiac attacks in the week after the 2013 election. This was almost double the 13 who died just after the Euro 2008 tournament.

A study by paediatrician Victor Grech concluded that the stress leading up to the elections in Malta causes the proportion of male babies born to decline. 

james
James Debono is MaltaToday's chief reporter on environment, planning and land use issues, ...