What Science Says About Babies Born In January

Birth month can have surprisingly significant impacts on our lives, and researchers are evaluating why. Some evidence suggests birth month can play a role in our athletic opportunities and performance (via Science Daily). Relative age effects (RAEs) refer to the success rates of those who are relatively older members of their cohort. For instance, babies born in the first three months of the year make up 40% of the elite Canadian youth ice hockey teams, while only 15% account for those born in the last three months of the year. 

Additionally, those born between January and March also had a slightly higher draft rate in the NHL than those born in the last six months of the year. Researchers theorize that those born in January are older than those born later in the year, meaning they're further developed and thus maintain certain physical advantages that extend throughout their careers. While athletic capabilities are a major bonus for January babies, there may be some potential health pitfalls to be on the lookout for.

The health impacts of being born in January

The UK Office of National Statistics determined that people born in January are more likely to suffer from epilepsy, Crohn's disease, and Alzheimer's (via Insider). The theory suggests that babies born in the winter months receive less vitamin D in the first few months of life, thwarting some aspects of development and increasing disease risk. 

Additionally, people born in the first quarter of the year are linked to higher risks of cardiovascular conditions such as hypertension, congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation, and more (via Columbia Magazine). While this may sound disconcerting for January babies, it may help to know nearly every birth month carries some kind of associated risk.

Obviously, we can't control our birthdays, and there's still much to be discovered about the health impacts of when we're born. But being aware of an increased health risk can help. We can then take necessary steps toward prevention in a more focused and educated manner.