147426 tn?1317265632

Bizarre Factoid! What Month Were You Born?

In the huge mega-analyses they have done to find the commonalities between people with MS, one in particular has puzzled researchers a lot.  People with MS have a hugely disproportionate brith rate in the month of May over the month of November, which is the loswest for people with MS..  For a long time this merely sat as an oddity that was seen in all such surveys.  Of course, people with MS' birthmonths represent all of the months, but there is that high and low in May and November.

Recently I have heard some interesting theories on it.  The one that makes the most sense to me is that if you draw a connection to MS and Vitamin D levels growing up you might be able to explain it.  Remember that many are now proposing that VitD levels are the critical problem connected with growing up in higher latitudes.  The farther away you are from the equator, the less the sunshine penetrates the atmosphere, the cooler it is the more you cover your skin, and the less time the sun shines both during the year and during the day.

A baby born during November would have been maximally exposed to sunshine (through the mother) from late spring thru summer and into fall.  Thus, one would expect that maternal Vit D levels would be highest in that month and then passed onto the newborn.  It would also give the baby the best chance at higher vitamin D stores.  This would give baby a "leg up" for lifetime Vit D levels.  Conversely, if born in May, most of a baby's gestation would have taken place during the months of least sunshine.  Now, this is only theory, but it is tantalizing isn't it?

I believe there are several prospective studies looking at maternal vitamin D levels  to see if the first part of this hypothesis is even true.

It makes me want to have parents ensure that their kids do get adequate sun exposure and get their Vit D levels checked periodocally.  Newer recommendations are that the levels should be at least over 30.  This has been raised from (I believe) 115.  For adults with a higher risk for developing MS I would recommend levels closer to 50.

Jennie asked me about this, so I thought I would share here.

96 Responses
147426 tn?1317265632
199980 tn?1233797404
333672 tn?1273792789
378497 tn?1232143585
Me, April. My grandmother, who has MS, May.

BUT...we're both Texas bred. Outside a LOT. We don't really have winter here, so you can be outside pretty much all the time.

Interesting idea.

429700 tn?1308007823
147426 tn?1317265632
Well, I never meant to imply that sun exposure is the only factor.  In looking at the genetics of MS there are clear differences in the genes that deal with the Vit D receptor of the cells in people with MS..  So 2w3 (<- kitten walked on keyboard) genetic differences might still make Vit D absorption a problem.

Also, I was premature and premies lack the ability to build up stores of many things.  I was due in:

Avatar universal
279234 tn?1363105249

but not DX
405614 tn?1329144114
222135 tn?1236488221
One sister with MS and myself - August (both on the 9th, but NOT twins BTW)
Other sister with MS - April

Avatar universal
Please read my help post, Maggie!!!!
293157 tn?1285873439
not yet Dx..

476834 tn?1228398709
428506 tn?1296557399
April 30
567489 tn?1297250714
I'm an Oct 31st baby, BUT - I was a hidden pregnancy, and I would bet that my birth mother (I'm adopted) did not go outside because of that!  Also, one bit of info that I have about my bio-father is that he had rickets.  So perhaps there's some sort of genetic vitamin D deficiency at play here?  I've never been tested for that - this whole thing snowballed so quickly from 'carpal tunnel' to a diagnosis of MS, I didn't have time to even think about it!

Very interesting stuff, Quix - thanks for this posting!
198419 tn?1360242356
Oh, so very tantalizing!  What a theory!

September for me.  Usually, expecting mothers are warned what "not" to pass along to our unborn babies.  Warnings about smoking, alcohol, kitty litter (that may have changed by now), etc.  

I could see findings and theories like this in prevention magazines, doctor's offices, etc.

Your theory is spot on! I like it!

281565 tn?1295982683

549269 tn?1236130637
Also in Limboland

Avatar universal
limboland, November

Always been an outdoor person, had lots of struggle with depression in the winter months because of the lack of sunshine.  Weird, huh?
195469 tn?1388322888
Late September
Avatar universal
Craig was born in August.       By the way for those who are reading this...NYU believes in the vitamin D theory too.  They supported Craig's high daily dose.  (15,000 units a day...but don't do it unless a doctor is aware).

Avatar universal
My wife's sister October
My wife is July.

Right before my wife's last ms spell. Her vitamin D levels were very low. And we live in Texas and she use to walk up to 5 miles a day.

She has live in born in Hawaii, Illinois, VA, Texas, VA, Texas. So her pour body didn't know what to do. Have thick blood for the cold winter months up north or thin blood for the very very hot summer months in the south.

Her sister's D levels were low also when she had her first attach of MS.
She lived in Texas and was outside all the time.

Got to go
439253 tn?1240835565
November.  Born in Lorain Ohio.  At age 6 moved to Lake Havasu City Az and spent my days in the pool and lots of sunshine.  Diagnosed last year.  
Avatar universal

Big Lee
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