Abstract 13300: The Effect of the Stock Market Crash and Seasons on Death and Ischemic Heart Disease Death in Los Angeles County
Background Various stressors (wake up time, physical and emotional stress, natural disasters) trigger cardiac death. One report suggested the stock market crash (SMC) in October 2008 was associated with more MIs in patients undergoing PCI. There is less data regarding SMC and death and ischemic heart disease (IHD) death in a large population. Our purpose was to assess the effect of the SMC on death rates in relation to seasonal variations.
Methods We obtained death certificate data for Los Angeles County for daily deaths from 2005-2008 and assessed them in relation to the SMC in October 2008 and seasonal variations.
Results Figure 1 shows daily death rates from all causes (deaths / 100,000 population) in LA County (population ∼10 million) from 2005-2008 versus the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index (DOW). Note that the highest death rates occur in winter (December - January), resulting in an annual “U” shaped curve. IHD death rates were 22% higher in winter versus summer (p<0.0001). The shape of this curve has not changed since our initial description of this phenomenon for the 1980s, however overall death rates declined; including from 2005 to 2008. There is no effect in relation to DOW when taking into account seasonal variability with increased death rates in winter. Figure 2 depicts IHD death rates from 2005-2008 showing a similar pattern.
Conclusion When viewed in relation to seasonal variation the SMC in October 2008 was not associated with an increase in IHD or total death. Despite therapies such as statins, newer antiplatelet agents and drug-eluting stents since the 1980s, seasonal variation (specifically winter) remains a trigger for death and IHD death even in LA where winters are mild.
- © 2011 by American Heart Association, Inc.