Researchers from Columbia University have found that your birth month may actually predict your chances of getting certain diseases.
The study, which was published in the Journal of the American Informatics Association, looked at 1.75 million patients’ records at the New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center who were born between 1900 and 2000, and treated between 1985 and 2013.
Using a computational method, the scientists explored the correlation between one’s birth month and risk of disease – and they found 55 diseases that were linked to a person’s season of birth.
People born in May were found to have the lowest risk of disease, and October and November showed the highest possibility for certain illnesses.
“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,” researchers reported in the study.
The research found that persons born in March have the highest risk of heart disease, while September and October produced a higher risk of respiratory disease. Also, babies born in the winter months have a higher probability of developing reproductive diseases and neurological diseases.
“This data could help scientists uncover new disease risk factors,” Nicholas Tatonetti, the lead author on the study and professor at CUMC, said in a statement released by the University.
The scientists warn, however, that a person’s health is not completely pre-determined by his or her birth month. And so it is not necessary to worry about the time of year when your child will be born.
“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. The risk related to birth month is relatively minor when compared to more influential variables like diet and exercise.”
The researchers plan to eventually expand their study to other medical databases from across the U.S. and around the world.
[Image via Hallmark]