Your Birth Month May Affect How Healthy You Are

Being born in the summer could come with some big health benefits, according to a provocative new study by researchers at the University of Cambridge’s Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit in England.

The study showed that people with birthdays in June, July or August are less likely than others to have low birth weight, enter puberty early or be of short stature.

“Those are all markers of growth and development that have been associated with higher risks of adult diseases,” said Dr. Ken Ong, a pediatric endocrinologist at the unit and co-author of the study, in an email to The Huffington Post. “I hope people will find it fascinating that events in early life can have very long-lasting benefits.”

In case you’re wondering, the study does not make a case for astrology. Rather, it supports the so-called “fetal programming” hypothesis. That’s the idea that the environment in a mother’s womb can exert a profound influence over a baby’s health and development later in life.

For the study, the researchers compared the vital health statistics of 450,000 men and women registered in the UK Biobank, a repository of data on height, weight, cognitive function and other variables.

When the researchers organized the data according to birthdate, they noticed that men and women born in the summer months tended to weigh more at birth and to grow into taller adults — and that women who had been born in the summer were less likely to start puberty early. Early puberty has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer later in life.

“This is the first time puberty timing has been robustly linked to seasonality,” Dr. John Perry, senior investigator scientist in the epidemiology unit and lead author of the study, —> Read More