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Thursday
Jun112015

Scientists Find Link Between Birth Month and Risk for Disease

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Your birth month may be a contributing factor to your long term health.

Scientists at Columbia University have found a correlation between a person's birth month and the risk for disease, according to a new study published in the Journal of American Medical Informatics Association.

Using a mathematical algorithm, researchers were able to sift through the medical records of 1.7 million patients at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Their data found 55 diseases linked to specific months or seasons.

For example, a person born in July or October may be most at risk for asthma. Similarly, babies born in November showed an increased risk for developing attention defecit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). And overall, people born in May had the lowest risk for disease, while those born in October had the highest.

However, researchers do point out that these associations are minor when compared to the effects of factors like a healthy diet and exercise. Your overall health is as much a function of your lifestyle as any association with a season or birth month.

"This data could help scientists uncover new disease risk factors,” said Nicholas Tatonetti, a senior author of the study and assistant professor at CU's Medical Center.

Researchers now plan to replicate this study on a wider scale, incorporating data from other parts of the U.S. and the world. 

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