Babies born in summer months develop to be healthier adults than those born in colder months, say UK researchers in a newly published study.
The research was based on data from the UK Biobank and compared medical records of over 450,000 participants followed over an extensive timeframe. According to the research findings, babies born in summer months have better chances of growing to be healthy adults. The research team hasn’t sought any correlation factor. However, they believe it may be due to exposure to sun as the expecting mother is in the second trimester of pregnancy.
Longer exposure to sunlight translates into elevated levels of vitamin D both for the mother and for the fetus at the time. Vitamin D has already been linked to a healthy development of children. Moreover, previous studies showed that when a child reaches puberty is key to further development and transition into adulthood, as well as to overall health in adult life.
Against this background, the UK research team set out to find if the month of birth inflicts adult health in any way. According to the study findings, it does. Particularly for babies born in summer months.
Babies born in June, July and August were found to weigh more at birth. Also, as they transit to puberty and then adulthood, they grow taller than babies born during colder months. At the same time, babies born in summer months reach puberty later.
Particularly for girls, this is an important finding. Reaching puberty later in their development translates into a healthier adult life it seems. From this perspective, lead researcher and author on the study, Doctor John Perry, stated:
“This is the first time puberty timing has been robustly linked to seasonality”.
Doctor John Perry is a researcher at the Cambridge Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit with the University of Cambridge, UK. The findings of this extensive study are published in the journal Heliyon.
While the exact factors that influence the development of summer-born babies into healthier adults aren’t fully understood yet, the UK-based study is the first that links birth month and seasonality to child development and adult health and medical condition.
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