Time of Birth

Birth Month Influences Health Risk Factors

And now we bring you... even more ways parents unintentionally mess their kids up. Though really, who could have ever guessed this?

According to two new studies, babies born in the spring have an increased risk of developing anorexia, and babies conceived in winter have a greater risk of developing autism.

In the anorexia study, a comparison of 1,293 anorexia patients found more patients born between March and June versus born from September to October. Other diseases, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression, have also been linked to those born in the springtime.

Researchers believe that environmental factors, such as change in temperature throughout the pregnancy or maternal nutrition, could be responsible for the increased risk of mental illness in springtime babies. We blame a lot on temp changes (like wearing the same yoga pants for a week straight and only eating that which can be delivered), but guess it might actually have some really serious consequences...

The autism study, which examined 6.6 million Californian children from the 1990s to early 2000s, showed that conceiving any time from fall to early spring increased the chance of having a child with autism. Compared to children conceived in July, those conceived in December had an eight percent higher chance of having autism, and those conceived in March had a 16 percent greater risk of developing autism.

Researchers believe one potential environmental factor that affected this autism trend was in utero exposure to seasonal influenza. They also posit that environmental variations in the second trimester, rather than at the time of conception, could be the cause of the association. Some examples would be increased allergens or differential exposure to pesticide in the summertime.

Damn... and all this time we worried about public restroom toilet seats being our biggest environmental risk factor.

University of California - Davis Health System (2011, May 4). Children conceived in winter have a greater risk of autism, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 9,
2011, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110505091240.htm

University of Oxford (2011, May 5). Spring babies face anorexia risk, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 9, 2011, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/


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