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Your Birthday Month Could Actually Impact Your Health When You’re Older

Your Birth Month & Future Health

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Did you know that your birth month can determine if you will get sick later in life? While this easily could seem like some astrology hocus pocus you would find debunked on Snopes.com, recent research suggests that your birth month can have a direct impact on your health later in life.

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The New York Study

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A new study was conducted on 1.7 million people, comparing over 1,600 diseases to the birth dates of citizens living in New York City. The results were extremely eye-opening, to say the least, with over 55 diseases correlating to the season of birth. How crazy is that?

Columbia University Research

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The research was conducted at Columbia University–a specific software was designed to search through medical databases in New York City looking for links between disease and birth month. The algorithm was able to identify over 55 diseases that were related to a specific season of birth.

The Disease to Birth Correlation

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The process involved Columbia University scientists comparing 1,688 diseases against the birth dates, as well as medical histories of 1.7 million patients that had been treated between 1985 and 2013. The study used the medical records from New York-Presbyterian Hospital in an effort to keep the sample controlled.

Advanced Software for Scientific Advancement

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Next, thanks to their custom software, the researchers were able to rule out over 1,600 correlations as well as confirm 39 links that had been previously reported. Also, the research was able to find 16 new associations, which included nine different types of heart disease. Did you know heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States?

Why Does this Matter?

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How could this type of study be helpful? Well, imagine if you knew you were at a high risk for heart disease due to when you were born. Now, you could make sure that your lifestyle worked to your benefit to prevent such disease from someday occurring.

Low and High Risk

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The results of the study had some amazing findings, to say the least. The most conclusive data revealed that people who were born in May were at the lowest risk for disease, while people born in October were at the highest risk.

Risk of Disease

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According to the scientists conducting the research, they can officially conclude that lifetime disease is affected by the month of birth. Reported in the Journal of American Medical Informatics, the researchers went on to state that “seasonally dependent developmental mechanisms could play a role in increasing lifetime risk of disease.”

No Need to Fear

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“It’s important not to get overly nervous about these results because even though we found significant associations the overall disease risk is not that great,” stated Dr. Tatonetti, a lead researcher on the project. “The risk related to birth month is relatively minor when compared to more influential variables like diet and exercise.”

The Danish Study

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One interesting development with this new study is that it was consistent with previous research. For example, an earlier Danish study concluded that peak risk for disease was in May in August, which is actually when the sunlight levels in Denmark are on par with those in New York City (July/October).

Winter Findings

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The study found that those born between the winter months of January and March were most at risk for hypertension, atrial fibrillation, as well as atherosclerosis, the latter of which being build up of cholesterol on the artery walls. All three of these issues are all related to heart disease.

The Spring Solution

Image: New York Cardiovascular Associates

As for the spring months of April through June, this was a time that was least likely to see a correlation to future disease. In fact, Angina (chest pain) was the only ailment that was found to have a strong link in those born during the month of April.

Summertime Sickness

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Summer, which the study categorized as July through September, is one of the seasons with the least risk for disease later in life. The study concluded that the month of September was linked to asthma, but the correlation was weaker than those found in terms of heart disease.

Fall into Disease

Image: Time Out

Finally, studying the months of Fall (October-December) found a link between ADHD and births during October; for those born in November, there’s a higher risk for not only viral and parasitic infections but acute bronchitis too. The researchers are hoping their findings help solve important clinical problems using the new data.

Future Studies

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The next step for the study is to replicate it in other cities across the United States, as well as in other countries. The hope is to continue to find correlations between birth months and diseases, as well as to determine if locations and temperatures in different parts of the world make an impact on what month those diseases are likely to be more prevalent.

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