I was born in January and I have diabetes. There is no data connecting these two things, but it’s still true. I always thought being a “winter baby” meant I had a weaker immune system (which has nothing to do with developing type 1 diabetes), but it seems “fall babies” are the most likely to develop diseases.
Researchers combed through Columbia University Medical Center health data from 1,749,400 people born between 1900 and 2000, taking the month of birth and diseases these individuals developed over the course of their lives.
The researched concluded that the month you are born in makes you more likely to develop certain diseases. For better results the research only analyzed medical conditions that 1,000 or more people were diagnosed with or treated for. They found that 55 diseases were significantly linked to birth month.
And babies born in fall have the highest chance of developing the widest variety of diseases.
Babies born between September to November have a higher chance of developing respiratory diseases and asthma, viral infections, and ADHD.
Babies born between January and April are more likely to develop heart disease than babies born in other months. (Fall babies were the least likely to contract heart disease; they were actually the best protected against it.)
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NOTE: November (early-winter) babies are most likely to develop reproductive diseases.
Babies born in March and April are the most likely to contract a cardiovascular diseases. Babies born in May, it turns out, have the least occurrences of developing disease.
Babies born from May to August aren’t correlated to any disease or type of disease.
The researchers confirmed past test results, as well as identifying 16 diseases that were never before associated with birth month. The results were recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and show all the parameters and variations the researchers followed and observed.
So where’s the connection? Why are fall babies more likely to develop asthma? Researcher posit it may be because of the oncoming winter. Fall babies maybe get less exposure to fresh air, and instead get dust-filled, recirculated household air.
Why are babies born between January and April more likely to contract cardiovascular diseases? Past studies show that winter babies are born into an early-life vitamin D deficiency, which leads to cardiovascular problems later in life.
Although the researchers are proud of their findings, they suggest interpreting the data carefully and not letting it affect your life, or the conception of your next child. There are so many variables when considering health’s correlation to birth month, like environmental differences, what era the people were born in, and the fact that all the data was collected from one hospital in New York City.
The results of this study are an interesting look into potential future health problems depending on your birth month. Knowing this you can make small changes in the lives of babies born in the winter (vitamin D, anyone?), fall, or anywhere in between.
If you take this study really, REALLY literally then you should aim to give birth in July.
For more info, click here and watch this short video from the Columbia University Medical Center.
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