When you’re born seems to affect your chances at a better health, as a research found that summer kids generally grow up taller and healthier than those born in winter months.
- Researchers studied 450,000 participants
- Children born in the summer (June, July, August) were heavier at birth, taller as adults and started puberty later
- Children born in the winter (December, January, February) were the precise opposite
- The aim of the study was to understand what measures mothers could take to benefit their children, no matter the month of conception
Researchers from the Medical Research Council in the United Kingdom used data on 450,000 participants in the UK Biobank. It’s a major database that various studies use for the purpose of assessing the possible causes of numerous diseases. For the first time, it was used to understand the link between month of birth and adult health.
According to lead author of the study, John Perry, their results have proven that there is a correlation between certain health marks and the timing of birth. And, apparently, children born in the summer have presented themselves with better health as they grew into adults. In fact, they excelled in a few areas in comparison to those born in the winter.
As found by the study, adults born in June, July or August had a tendency of being taller and much heavier at birth, a sign generally attributed to better health later in life. It’s an interesting conclusion, though researchers have noted that this was an observational study. Their results reflect their analysis, not an answer to the possible cause.
For women, it appeared that being born in the summer added an extra boost in health. It was observed that girls born in the warmer months were likelier to start their periods later. That is considered another good sign of female adult health. Though men, as well, had a tendency of starting puberty later. While perhaps frustrating during school years, it’s actually good news for future potential problems.
On the other end of the spectrum, children born in the winter (December, January, and February) were quite the opposite. They were likelier to be lighter at birth, go through puberty earlier, and shorter as adults.
It has been well established for a long time that the environment is highly important for the future health of the unborn baby. The effect called ‘programming’ affect the child’s well being before they even come to life. These are largely attributed to their mother’s womb and the sort of environment they’re able to offer sometimes outside of their control.
According to Perry, it’s difficult to mark a certain benefactor linked to this particular observation. However, researchers suggest that the main reason could be sunshine exposure during the second trimester. That could be considered to be the general difference between summer and winter months.
They suggested that increased vitamin D for the mothers could benefit their children later on in life and present with long-term effects. However, more research is required, and while it’s certainly not aimed to discourage conception during certain months, it could potentially provide an answer of what influences health for unborn children later in life. And with that, what measures mothers could take for the sake of their baby’s health.
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