Could your birth month play a role in your health?

ST. LOUIS -- The month you were born could play a big role in your health.

Researchers who compiled the birthdays and medical records of patients found that people born in May are the healthiest. People born in October might be at the highest risk for contracting diseases.

The study also revealed that those born in March are more likely to have heart issues.

Past studies have found children born in the fall are more likely to be asthmatic while kids born at the end of the year may have a higher risk of suffering from ADHD.

An excerpt from the article states:

Hippocrates described a connection between seasonality and disease nearly 2500 years ago, “for knowing the changes of the seasons … how each of them takes place, he will be able to know beforehand what sort of a year is going to ensue … for with the seasons the digestive organs of men undergo a change.” Following in footsteps laid more than 2 millennia ago, recent studies have linked birth month with neurological,reproductive,endocrineand immune/inflammatory disorders, and overall lifespan.

Many disease-dependent mechanisms exist relating disease-risk to birth month. For example, evidence linking a subtype of asthma to birth month was presented in 1983. They found that individuals born in seasons with more abundant home dust mites had a 40% increased risk of developing asthma complicated by dust mite allergies. Their finding was corroborated later when it was found that sensitization to allergens during infancy increases lifetime risk of developing allergies.  In addition, some neurological conditions may be associated with birth month because of seasonal variations in vitamin D and thymic output. Understanding disease birth month dependencies is challenging because of the diversity of seasonal affects and connections to disease-risk.

This data visualization maps the statistical relationship between birth month and disease incidence in the electronic records of 1.7 million New York City patients. (Credit: Dr. Nick Tatonetti/Columbia University Medical Center)