Skip navigation
B. Is New York City To Die For?

Narrator: This is Science Today. When it comes to cities that make the pulse race with excitement, New York tops many lists. This may be why a new study found visitors to New York are much more likely to die of a heart attack than those visiting ten other major American cities. Nicholas Christenfeld, a psychology professor at the University of California, San Diego, bases these findings on a decade's worth of death certificates.

Christenfeld: The death certificates unfortunately don't say things like...died of excitement while visiting New York. And so you can't tell what it is. My argument is it's something psychological about the stress of the city and the excitement of it and the density and the late nights and hub-bub and things that you just don't get anywhere else in the country. It's the standard New York view - is there's New York and there's the rest of the country. And this finding is consistent with that.

Narrator: This doesn't mean a trip to New York will push an otherwise healthy visitor into having a heart attack.

Christenfeld: What this is probably doing is just moving heart attacks around by a few days or weeks, so if you're very close to a heart attack and you're visiting New York, that may be the time that you have it.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.