As if the cold weather, short days and post-Christmas comedown were not bad enough, there’s now even more reason to dread January.
New research shows the first month of the year, specifically the sixth day, is the most common time of year to die.
Since 2005, more people have died on January 6 than any other date in the calendar year.
There has been an average of 1,732 deaths on the sixth of the month, this coming Sunday, – 25 per cent higher than the average for the rest of the year.
All ten of the most common days to die fall in either the first two weeks or the final week of the year, with two in late December and eight in early January.
The analysis has been carried out by Beyond, a “life services” website which helps users find a funeral director, write a will or even arrange a cremation.
It found the two days either side of January 6 also have high death rates, with January 5 averaging just three fewer fatalities and January 7 trailing only by a further three.
Those behind the research said the cold winter weather was “almost certainly” a contributing factor, with January typically vying with February as the coldest month of the year.
By contrast, the research found that July 30 is the least likely day to die, with just 1,208 deaths on average – 13 per cent lower than the overall daily average.
James Dunn, co-founder of Beyond, said: “Late December and early January are always going to be common times to die, with the cold weather raising the risk of infection in people who are already vulnerable.
“Often those who are sick and dying will target certain milestones to keep them going, so it is unsurprising to see higher numbers for the weeks following Christmas, as the thought of one final festive period helps sustain people until later in the month.”
Research published last year showed the cost of dying is rising more than twice as fast as the cost of living, with the cost of a funeral surging ahead of inflation.
While the cost of living has increased by a cumulative 7.67 per cent since 2015, the average price of a cremation in Scotland has jumped by 18.38 per cent.
The cost of burials has not risen as fast as inflation, increasing by 5.6 per cent to a typical fee of £1,630.