A recent Columbia University study has found that the month you were born in affects your chances of catching certain illnesses and diseases.
The study, which was published in the Journal of American Medical Informatics Association, was titled, “Birth Month Affects Lifetime Disease Risk.”
Researchers at Columbia University created software to cross check 1,688 diseases against the medical records of over 1.7 million patients treated at New York Presbyterian Hospital between 1985 and 2013.
The algorithm was able to rule out more than 1,600 associations, but the results also confirmed 39 links between birth months and diseases that were previously reported in medical literature plus 16 newly discovered links including nine types of heart disease. In total, scientists found 55 diseases that correlated with specific months that patients were born in.
Nicholas Tatonetti, one of the study’s authors, explained:
“Seasonally dependent early developmental mechanisms may play a role in increasing lifetime risk of disease … This data could help scientists uncover new disease risk factors.”
In general, the birth months with the highest risk for diseases were October and November; low-risk months for diseases included February and April.
However, for cardiovascular diseases, which include heart disease and stroke, March and April were the highest risk months. Early winter months were linked with lower instances of cardiovascular disease.
When it comes to respiratory diseases, which range from the common cold, pneumonia and lung cancer, October and November were by far the highest risk months.
November was found to be a high-risk month for reproductive diseases, which can include viral infections like AIDS and herpes, a wide number of cancers not limited to prostate, breast, ovarian, cervical and testicular cancer, and functional problems like impotence and premature ejaculation.
November was also found to be a high-risk month linked to neurological diseases, or any condition that affects the brain, spinal cord and nervous system.
For a list of specific diseases and disorders that correlate with birth months and seasons, check out the chart below.
But Don’t Be Alarmed
Tatonetti explains that while certain correlations with disease and birth month may seem apparent, there are countless other variables and contributing factors that lead to certain diseases.
“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. The risk related to birth month is relatively minor when compared to more influential variables like diet and exercise.”
Still, most people born in November may be panicking a little bit right now.