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Am J Psychiatry. 2002 Dec;159(12):2110-1.

Traffic deaths and superstition on Friday the 13th.

Author information

1
Department of Public Health Science and General Practice, University of Oulu, Oulu FIN-00014, Finland. simo.nayha@oulu.fi

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study compared deaths from traffic accidents on Friday the 13th with those on other Fridays in a national population.

METHOD:

The author examined the daily deaths from traffic accidents by sex and age and the mean daily temperature in Finland, 1971-1997. Adjusted risk ratios for death on Friday the 13th versus other Fridays were obtained by negative binomial regression.

RESULTS:

In men, the adjusted risk ratio for dying on Friday the 13th, compared with other Fridays, was 1.02, but for women, it was 1.63. An estimated 38% of traffic deaths involving women on this day were attributable to Friday the 13th itself.

CONCLUSIONS:

Friday the 13th may be a dangerous day for women, largely because of anxiety from superstition. The risk of traffic deaths on this date could be reduced by one-third, although the absolute gain would remain very small: only one death per 5 million person-days.

Comment in

PMID:
12450968
DOI:
10.1176/appi.ajp.159.12.2110
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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