• Journal Article

How the 2008 Stock Market Crash and Seasons Affect Total and Cardiac Deaths in Los Angeles County

Citation

Schwartz, B. G., Pezzullo, J. C., McDonald, S., Poole, W., & Kloner, R. A. (2012). How the 2008 Stock Market Crash and Seasons Affect Total and Cardiac Deaths in Los Angeles County. American Journal of Cardiology, 109(10), 1445-1448. DOI: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2012.01.354

Abstract

Various stressors trigger cardiac death. The objective was to investigate a possible relation between a stock market crash and cardiac death in a large population within the United States. We obtained daily stock market data (Dow Jones Industrial Average Index), death certificate data for daily deaths in Los Angeles County (LA), and annual LA population estimates for 2005 through 2008. The 4 years death rate curves (2005 through 2008) were averaged into a single curve to illustrate annual trends. Data were 'deseasonalized' by subtracting from the daily observed value the average value for that day of year. There was marked seasonal variation in total and cardiac death rates. Even in the mild LA climate, death rates were higher in winter versus summer including total death (+17%), circulatory death (+24%), coronary heart disease death (+28%), and myocardial infarction death (+38%) rates (p <0.0001 for each). Absolute coronary heart disease death rates have decreased since 1985. After accounting for seasonal variation, the large stock market crash in October 2008 did not affect death rates in LA. Death rates remained at or below seasonal averages during the stock market crash. In conclusion, after correcting for seasonal variation, the stock market crash in October 2008 was not associated with an increase in total or cardiac death in LA. Annual coronary heart disease death rates continue to decrease. However, seasonal variation (specifically winter) remains a trigger for death and coronary heart disease death even in LA where winters are mild. (C) 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. (Am J Cardiol 2012;109:1445-1448)