Skip to main content Skip to header navigation

What Your Birth Month Can Tell You About Your Health Risks

Yes, we know that not everybody believes consulting the stars and astrology can give you insight into your own health problems — but even if you’re a huge skeptic, hear us out. There’s actually some serious research that backs up the belief that the month you were born in has influence on what health issues you will (or won’t) face in your lifetime.

Researchers at Columbia University completed a study in 2015 that used statistical analysis to examine the medical records of 1.7 million patients in order to determine whether birth month had any impact on long-range health. The study, which included the records of people born between 1900 and 2000 who were patients at New York Presbyterian Hospital/CUMC between 1985 and 2013, found a correlation between the month of birth and 55 different medical conditions.

“Our individual personal risk of disease depends on a number of factors, including our genetics and our lifestyle, but it also depends on the environment we are born into and the actions of our parents (e.g., how much sunlight did our mother receive while pregnant). I think the most important finding from this study is that birth month and seasonality at birth is important in understanding disease susceptibility and risk,” said Mary Regina Boland, the Columbia study’s lead author.

A similar study published in the journal Allergy correlated birth season with the likelihood of suffering from allergies. The researchers noted that the season of birth can have a wide-ranging impact on a person’s life, even influencing height and life expectancy.

More: Sheryl Crow’s interesting theory about why her cancer was in her left breast

Now don’t get mad at your parents for having you at the wrong time of year; they didn’t doom you to a horrible disease or an early grave. In the big picture, the knowledge gleaned from these studies provides researchers with information that they can use to unravel the causes of diseases so they can search for treatments and cures. At the individual level, knowing that your birth month might predispose you to a certain condition could encourage healthier lifestyle habits.

The Columbia researchers, along with researchers at other institutions, are currently working to understand exactly what drives the relationships between birth month and disease.

“It is important to note that different diseases would have different exposures. Many things vary seasonally, including sunlight, pollen, pollutants and even exercise patterns that could affect prenatal or perinatal development in various ways,” said Boland.

Here’s a look at how the prevalence of different health issues breaks down by birth month.

January: Hypertension

In the United States, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, claiming 610,000 lives each year. The Columbia study found that people born in the first third of the year were more prone to heart problems, with nine types of heart disease linked to birth month. Those with January birthdays had a higher relative incidence of hypertension, or high blood pressure.

February: Decreased disease risk

If you were born in February, congratulations are in order. The Columbia researchers found that February birthdays were associated with lower overall disease risk.

March: Prostate cancer, atrial fibrillation, congestive cardiac failure

No guy looks forward to the annual prostate exam, but men with March birthdays should be extra sure to get that appointment on the calendar. Men with March birthdays had a higher relative incidence of prostate cancer in the Columbia study, in addition to heart disease.

More: Let’s weigh the pros and cons of the age-old practice of ear candling

April: Angina

April birthdays are associated with a higher relative incidence of angina, or the chest pain that results when the heart doesn’t get enough oxygen-rich blood. Angina is a symptom, rather than a disease, and it usually points to heart disease, according to the American Heart Association.

May: Lower risk of acute upper respiratory infection

Like February babies, people born in May are winners of a biological lottery, of sorts. They aren’t at increased overall disease risk, and they’re less prone to respiratory infections.

June: Heart disease

Preinfarction syndrome is more prevalent in people with June birthdays. It is marked by chest pain, and it often precedes a heart attack.

July and August

People born in July and August have no increased or decreased risk.

September: Allergy-related diseases

If you’re prone to the itchy eyes, runny nose and wheezing commonly associated with allergies, you may be able to blame your fall birthday.

October: Overall health risk

If May babies are the winners of the biological lottery, October babies are the losers. People born in this month bear the greatest overall health risk.

November: ADHD and respiratory diseases

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, is a mental disorder associated with difficulty paying attention, poor self-control and hyperactivity. People with November birthdays carry the greatest risk for this condition.

December: Bruising

Bumps and bruises are an inevitable part of life, but strangely, the Columbia researchers found that people born in December were more prone to the kind of serious bruising that can lead to a trip to the hospital.

More: Zodiac Netflix Guide: What you should watch based on your astrological sign

Before you go, check out our slideshow below.

30 Yoga poses you don't need an expensive studio to teach you

Originally published September 2016. Updated January 2017.

Leave a Comment

Comments are closed.