Interestingly, the month and season that your birthday falls in can have surprising correlations with your risk for certain diseases, and what this information reveals about your health is essential for you to know. We’ve studied the research on your birthday as it relates to your health so you can be prepared to talk to your physician about the types of diseases that you might be predisposed to.
Causality is not the same as correlation. So being born in January does not cause hypertension, for example. But there is a correlation between those with their birthday in the first month of the year and high blood pressure. Knowing these potential risks is good for you to be able to prevent the disease in the first place and also to be aware of the early warning signs and symptoms of the diseases that you might be more likely to have in your lifetime.
Let’s look at the birthdays for each month and season and discuss what they reveal about high and low risks for health problems.
What Does Your Birthday Reveal About Your Health?
The early developmental days, months, and years following your birthday can have a significant affect on your lifetime health. Being born during flu season, typically during the winter months, for example, could lead to the risk of an early severe illness that could affect your lungs’ healthy development as you grow. So, what does your birthday reveal about your health? Read below for a description of the most common health concerns for birthdays that fall in each month of the year.
A study conducted at Columbia University Medical Center and published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA) looked at what your birthday reveals about your health by examining lifetime disease risk. The research looked at the health of 1.7 million people born between 1900 and 2000 and found 55 diseases that were significantly dependent on the month of their birth.
Here are the month-by-month health risks associated with your birthday:
Cardiomyopathy (diseases of the heart muscle tissue), essential hypertension (high blood pressure)
Malignant neoplasm of overlapping lesion of bronchus and lung (respiratory cancer)
Congestive cardiac failure, cardiovascular disease, atrial fibrillation (irregular heart beat), mitral valve disorder (heart valve problem that affects blood flow), chronic myocardial ischemia (reduced blood flow to heart), and primary malignant neoplasm of prostate (prostate cancer)
Chronic myocardial ischemia (reduced blood flow to heart), cardiac complications of care, angina (chest pain)
None reported in JAMIA study; lowest risk for acute upper respiratory infection
Pre-infarction syndrome (chest pain that comes before a heart attack); lowest risk for sexually transmitted disease screening
None reported in JAMIA study
None reported in JAMIA study
Vomiting, lowest risk for cardiac problems
Increased risk for acute upper respiratory infection, sexually transmitted disease screening, non-venomous insect bite; lowest risk for prostate cancer malignancy and pre-infarction syndrome
None reported in JAMIA study, lowest risk for chronic myocardial ischemia
Increased risk of bruising.
Other studies have found a connection between the season that someone was born in and their exposure to common indoor household allergens. The researchers say ‘Our data indicate that avoidance measures in the domestic environment aimed at the primary prevention of allergen-driven sensitization should be introduced at the earliest possible stage, if possible during infancy.’
In other research related to dust mites, scientists found that ‘higher mite levels occurred on the most heavily used fabric-upholstered furniture and carpeted floor areas of the living/family room and bedrooms.’ The good news is that ‘Mattresses were not found to be the major foci for mites.’ In other words, your bed is safe from dust mites as a cause of allergic reactions.
When are dust mites most prevalent? The summer months with the highest levels of humidity are the times when dust mites are at their highest levels in the home.
They also say that unfortunately, how much you clean may not improve things much when it comes to dust mites because ‘No significant positive correlation was noted between mite abundance and frequency or thoroughness of cleaning, amount of dust, and age of furnishings or dwelling. Significantly higher mite levels occurred on carpeted floors than on non-carpeted floors. Successive vacuuming did not significantly reduce mite abundance.’ So relax about cleaning, but it sounds like furnishings and flooring that are made from surfaces that can be wiped down are the way to go in your house to prevent dust mites and exposure to allergens in the home.
Infertility is another health risk that the JAMIA study looked at. They say that there is a decrease in births for parents who were born between the months of May through September. In other words, if your birthday is in May, June, July, August or September, you are less likely to have as many children as women who were born the other seven months of the year. The Columbia researchers say ‘Many studies show a link between maternal birth month and number of offspring supporting the belief that prenatal and early developmental effects can alter a female’s lifetime fertility.’