Could the month you were born in affect the diseases you'll develop in your lifetime?
Scientists at Columbia University wanted to find out. To do that, they developed an algorithm that compared the birth dates and medical records of approximately 1.7 million patients that were treated at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/CUMC between 1985 and 2013.
They found 55 of the 1,688 diseases they looked at correlated with birth month, according to a study published in the Journal of American Medical Informatics Association. The diseases they focused on were cardiovascular, respiratory, reproductive and neurological.
Here's what they found your health risks are for each month:
This shows the highest risk months are in October and November. The lowest risks months are in May and July. In general, people born in winter have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease than other months while being born in the fall means a higher risk of neurological, respiratory, and reproductive conditions.
But before you yell at your parents for not having you in May or July, you should know there's no reason to freak out.
"It's important not to get overly nervous about these results because even though we found significant associations, the overall disease risk is not that great," study senior author Nicholas Tatonetti, PhD, said in a press release. "The risk related to birth month is relatively minor when compared to more influential variables like diet and exercise."
The researchers hope to replicate their study in other locations around the country as well as examine whether environmental or seasonal changes have an effect.
To learn more about the study, check out the video below:
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