While spring is often associated as allergy season, a new study done by the University of Southampton, UK, suggest that the season in which an individual is born may make a difference in their allergy development. By measuring whole blood epigenome-wide DNA in 367 participants it was found that there were correlations between the seasons in which the individual was born and what allergies and diseases they later developed.
For example, the study found that autumn and winter babies had a higher risk of developing asthma as well as eczema. One of the more general trends observed was that babies born specifically in the month of October usually had a higher risk of developing certain allergies and diseases than those born in the summer. Overall, 55 diseases were found that correlated with the season of birth.
The university is now trying to understand what it is about being born during a certain season that affects an individual’s risk for disease. As of now it is believed that factors such as temperature, sunlight exposure, and diet may play a large part and these factors are being studied now.
The article stated that the individuals involved in the study were from the Isle of Wright (located off of the coast of the southern UK). While looking at the seasonal climate in this specific location I began questioning a few things about the study. First of all, I wonder what the study would have found if the DNA was taken from individuals residing in a location with more extreme temperature differences between seasons? Also, what the study would have found having taken DNA from individuals residing in a location where the seasonal temperatures were almost constant (they only experience one or two seasons in a year)?
Even with these questions I found the study to be interesting however I personally believe a lot more goes into developing a disease than merely the month you were born. I also hope that studies like this do not influence more and more parents to have children in the summer months because I do not believe that alone will make a healthy human. Fall babies need love and recognition too, even with our asthma.