People born in the summer are more likely to be healthy than those who arrive during other times of the year, and the phenomenon could be caused by mothers getting more sun during pregnancy and passing on higher quantities of vitamin D to their child, the Daily Mail reported.
A new study, published by Heliyon, found that babies born in June, July and August were heavier at birth and taller as adults, the article stated.
Study author Dr. John Perry, of Cambridge University, said in the Daily Mail: “When you were conceived and born occurs largely at random. It's not affected by social class, your parents' ages or their health — so looking for patterns with the birth month is a powerful study design to identify influences of the environment before birth.”
The research team compared the growth and development of around 450,000 men and women from the U.K. Biobank study— a major national health resource that provides data on U.K. volunteers to shed light on the development of diseases, the Daily Mail stated.
“Our results show birth month has a measurable effect on development and health, but more work is needed to understand the mechanisms behind this effect,” Dr. Perry was quoted in the Daily Mail report, which added that previous research has shown children born between June and October are likely to be slightly taller and have bigger bones than winter-born children — believed to be related to vitamin D exposure during pregnancy.
“We think vitamin D exposure is important and our findings will hopefully encourage other research on the long-term effects of early life vitamin D on … health,” Dr. Perry said in the report.