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Month of birth: time determines cognitive and physical health

Month of birth: time determines cognitive and physical health


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How the month of birth affects human health
Can the month of birth affect our health and character? Researchers at the Medical Research Council at the University of Cambridge examined the life courses of around half a million people. They found that there were significant differences in the health progress of the children compared to the months of birth. So the saying “summer babies have a sunny temper” gets scientific meaning.

Birth in the summer months is an advantage
Scientists from the Medical Research Council at the University of Cambridge have found that the month of birth has a crucial impact on your own health in adulthood. It is therefore advantageous to see the light of day in the summer months. The team around Dr. John Perry reported in Heliyon magazine that babies born in June, July and August were slightly heavier at birth and a little bigger than adults when they were adults.

They also found that puberty began somewhat later in girls born in the summer. The scientists explained that both birth weight and the onset of puberty have health effects. For example, it is known that later onset of puberty is a sign of better health than adults.

Increased sun exposure could be the cause
The researchers suspect that solar radiation causes the differences between summer and winter babies. When pregnant women are exposed to higher levels of sunlight, this also boosts vitamin D production to strengthen the immune system.

According to the scientists, the circumstances within the uterus not only lead to differences in the first months of life, but also have consequences for the entire development - from childhood to adulthood. According to an older study, even the time of conception has an impact on the baby's later health. For example, Princeton University researchers in the United States reported that the risk of premature birth would increase if fertilization occurred in May. The reason for this could possibly be flu viruses.

Those born in winter are more balanced
Dr. Perry said of the British study: “The time of conception and birth are based on randomness. They are not influenced by social status, the age of their parents or their health. ”It is an important study design to look for patterns around the month of birth in order to identify environmental influences that affect during pregnancy.

Previous studies had occasionally shown effects on birth weight and some other health effects. For example, Hungarian researchers reported years ago that the season in which the birth takes place determines the character. According to this, people who were born in winter are calm and balanced, but with a slight tendency to depression, while those born in summer are rather overstretched and cheerful.

Further investigations needed
The British scientists had evaluated data sets from around 450,000 men and women from the UK Biobank for their investigation. It provides data from volunteers in the UK to track down the development of diseases.

In the specialist journal "Elsevier", Perry said: "We are surprised and delighted to see the connections." He also said: "It is the first time that a connection has been established between the onset of puberty and the month of birth." more studies are needed to understand the mechanisms behind it. Only then would it be possible to make appropriate recommendations. "We think that exposure to vitamin D is extremely important and hopefully our findings will drive further research that shows the long-term effects of the influence on puberty and later health," said the expert. (ad)

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