Children born during the summer season, and especially girls are healthier than other adults, according to a British study published in the journal Heliyon.
Researchers at the University of Cambridge (UK) examined the link between month of birth of a baby and the weight of the latter, but also on the health of children and particularly girls when they start the puberty. Previous work had indicated that the season had an influence on weight and height. Thus, babies born in winter were slightly less big at birth. Canadian researchers have also discovered that children born in spring or summer were healthier overall than the others.
A link between month of birth and puberty
For Dr. John Perry (lead author of the new study) and his team, development and infant growth, the start of puberty, is an important link between early life and adult health. That’s why the researchers analyzed in detail yet the month of birth.
Thus, they analyzed health data from nearly 450,000 Britons from the national medical information system of the country to determine if the month of birth had an impact on birth weight, the advent of a precocious puberty and adult size.
Girls born in summer start puberty later
Their results show that babies born in June, July and August were heavier at birth and larger as adults. Unprecedented way, the study also found that girls born in summer were starting puberty later than others. However, a later puberty is synonymous with better protection against certain cardiovascular diseases or hormone-dependent cancers.
Month of birth and weight, a poorly understood phenomenon
The month of birth would however not affect body mass index (BMI) and thus on body size in adulthood.
If mechanisms related to this phenomenon are still poorly understood, the researchers speculate that the mother would have been more exposed to the sun and thus is full of vitamin D at the end of her pregnancy. This contribution would have a significant impact on the baby’s birth weight and lasting influence at least until puberty.
“We believe that exposure to vitamin D plays an important role, says Dr. Perry. And we hope that our results will encourage to continue the path towards further work on taking vitamin D at the beginning of life and its effects on puberty and health. ”
AFP / Relaxnews
Source: Season of birth is associated with birthweight, pubertal timing, adult body size and educational attainment