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10 Seemingly Impossible Things Your Birth Month Could Predict About Your Future Health

Your birthday dictates your zodiac sign, but new research suggests that it may also affect various aspects of health later in life. Keep in mind: The impact of birth season is far from definitive; heredity and environment play a far bigger role.

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Better physical fitness

A study in the International Journal of Sports Medicine found that school-age boys born in November scored an average of ten percentile points higher on tests of cardiorespiratory fitness, handgrip strength, and lower-body power compared with those born in April. Fall babies’ mothers are pregnant in the summer, when vitamin D levels surge. Vitamin D affects fetal physical development. Here are the fascinating things your birthdate reveals about your personality.

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Food allergies

People with autumn birthdays were 30 to 90 percent more likely to develop food allergies than those born in other seasons, according to Johns Hopkins University research. Fall babies are exposed to less skin-protecting vitamin D early in life, which could make them more likely to develop a sensitivity to food allergens through the skin.

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Left-handedness

Men born during this season are more likely to be lefties than those born during other times of the year, according to new Austrian and German research. High levels of testosterone in utero can make left-handedness more likely—and longer periods of daylight during the summer can trigger a testosterone surge at a crucial time during fetal development when handedness might be influenced. Plus, lefties may also be more intelligent than righties. Don't miss the other body parts that may reveal how smart you are

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Premature birth

Babies conceived in May (and typically born in February) are 10 percent more likely to arrive prematurely than those conceived during other seasons, a 2013 study found. Expectant mothers’ exposure to flu in the last trimester may be why. Pregnant women should get vaccinated for flu.

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Melanoma

Spring-born people have a 21 percent greater chance of developing melanoma than those born in the fall, reported a 2014 study in the International Journal of Epidemiology. Exposure to UV light during the first few months of life may affect the body’s susceptibility to developing melanoma as an adult. That said, lifelong habits— using sunscreen year-round, not tanning, wearing hats and sunglasses—go a long way toward protecting you against all forms of skin cancer. Make sure you know the kinds of things your birth order reveals about you.

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Earlier menopause

In an Italian study of nearly 3,000 postmenopausal women, those born in spring were more likely to reach menopause just before age 49; those born in the fall were likelier to enter menopause about 15 months later. Fall women might be born with a greater number of eggs. 

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Nearsightedness

Summer babies are more prone to need glasses for distance, found a study in the journal Ophthalmology. This may be because of the amount of light babies are exposed to right before and after they’re born. Research in animals has shown this can affect normal eye development. These are the 8 other things science knows about summer babies.

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Mood swings

People born during summer months are more likely to have “cyclothermic temperament,” or rapid fluctuation between sad and happy moods. Light and temperature exposure may affect brain chemicals that regulate mental health.

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Asthma

A 2017 study found that men born during the spring and summer months were more likely to develop asthma than men born during the fall and winter. Researchers from Spain looked for patterns between the birth months of nearly 30,000 study participants and the risk of 27 chronic diseases. Their findings fall in line with other studies like one from Denmark, which discovered a link between asthma and people with May/August birthdays. This possible correlation could be because mothers who are pregnant during the winter may be more likely to catch the flu or other respiratory problems. 

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Heart problems

Columbia University researchers analyzed the birth dates and medical histories of patients seen at Columbia Medical Center over the past 14 years, starting in 2000. The team discovered that 55 out of the 1,688 health conditions showed a strong relationship with birth month, which included 16 brand new associations like heart-related diseases. For example, people born in March faced the highest risk for atrial fibrillation, congestive heart failure, and mitral valve disorder. "We found not just one association but several with the same trend of increased lifetime risk of heart disease for those born in late winter and early spring,” Nicholas Tatonetti, one of the study authors told time.com."That’s suggestive of a mechanistic relationship, although we don’t yet know what that is.” If you're a big believer in astrology, check out what your zodiac sign says about your health next!

Originally Published in Reader's Digest