Child’s IQ, lifespan depends on month of birth--study
According to the researchers, babies born in spring (March, April, or May) are more vulnerable to a host of illnesses like asthma, autism, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Also, spring kids are less smart and have a shorter lifespan as compared to their classmates born in autumn season, the study found.
The present study findings back previous U.S. research which found that those born in autumn live 160 days longer than those born in spring, the Daily Mail reports.
Wondering why? Scientists believe many of these differences can be understood by mother’s exposure to sunlight during pregnancy.
Sunlight is known to trigger vitamin D production in body, and a lack of this vitamin in first few months of the newborn can have long lasting effects on mental and physical health.
Can your birth month affect your health?
The study, presented at the ongoing Cheltenham Science Festival in UK, revealed that kids born in between April and June had shorter lives than those who were born in October, November, and December.
Researchers further linked child’s season of birth with multiple sclerosis (MS), with the greatest risk seen in inhabitants of northern latitudes, where sunlight is scarce.
For instance, in Scotland, April babies are 50 percent more likely to develop MS than those born in November.
Professor George Ebers, an Oxford University expert on seasons and health, said, “You should probably be aiming for a November birth if you live in Scotland.”
Interestingly, scientists dubbed April as the cruelest month as babies born in this month are more likely to suffer from alcohol abuse, asthma, low IQ, Parkinson’s, eating disorders, MS, autism, diabetes, etc.
Similarly, infants born in spring months were likelier to have asthma, Crohn’s disease, and schizophrenia.
Study findings remarkable--experts
Professor Russell Foster, an Oxford University neuroscientist and expert on seasonal biology, said the conclusions were ‘surprising and remarkable’.
He added, “These are small effects but they are very, very clear. I am not giving voice to astrology – it’s nonsense – but we are not immune to seasonal interference.”