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article imageThe month in which you were born could affect your later health

By Adrian Peel     Oct 14, 2015 in Health
According to a new UK study, babies delivered during the hottest months of the year have a better chance of enjoying a healthy adulthood, due to early exposure to sunlight.
An investigation carried out by the Medical Research Council (MRC) Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge — and published by Heliyon — suggests that receiving direct sunlight during the second trimester of pregnancy may help women give birth to healthier babies.
Although more research is needed, the study — backed up by reports and scientific findings — claims that the month in which a girl is born affects her birth weight and determines at what age she starts puberty. Both of these have an effect on the physical well-being of adult women.
It is already widely known that programming, the impact that the environment in the womb can have on health in later life, influences development.
Babies who entered the world in June, July or August, it seems, weighed more at birth, were taller as adults and went through puberty a little later than their winter-born counterparts.
Biobank, a resource centre that collects data from UK volunteers for the purpose of investigating diseases, provided the researchers with the information they required. The researchers then compared the growth and development of approximately 450,000 men and women.
"Our results show that birth month has a measurable effect on development and health, but more work is needed to understand the mechanisms behind this effect," said Dr. John Perry, the man leading the study.
The team believes the differences between babies born in the summer and those who take their first breaths in December, January or February could be down to the amount of sunlight — and therefore Vitamin D — that the mother is exposed to during pregnancy.
Dr. Perry concluded by saying, "We think that vitamin D exposure is important and our findings will hopefully encourage other research on the long-term effects of early life vitamin D on puberty timing and health."
More about Summer, children's health, Health, Vitamin d, Sunlight
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