When's Your Birthday? It Could Impact Your Health
A woman’s exposure to certain seasonal and environmental factors during pregnancy may influence her offspring’s lifetime disease risk, suggests an interesting new analysis of health information on 10.5 million people in three countries with five different climates (the United States, South Korea, and Taiwan). The results of this analysis were published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.
Earlier studies have shown that babies born in the winter, when levels of sunlight are low, have a higher lifetime risk of developing type 2 diabetes; those born in the fall have a higher lifetime risk of depression; and babies with birthdays between July and October are at increased risk for asthma. Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center in New York conducted this latest analysis to learn more about these seemingly strange connections.
They also discovered that babies born to mother’s exposed to high levels of air pollution during the first trimester had a higher lifetime risk of developing the heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation, as well as depression and anxiety. According to the researchers, clarifying these links could lead to new ways to prevent disease, including seasonal dosing of certain prenatal supplements.