There has been little research about how environmental factors and seasonal changes may be correlated and have an impact on longer term health. Until now.
In an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, researchers explore the role birth season and climate play in human health and risk for disease by studying the health records of more than 10 million people in three countries, representing five climates.
What did they discover? There are several exposures that have a direct correlation to disease risk, such as the link between first-trimester exposure to carbon monoxide and increased risk of depressive disorder. In addition, low amounts of sunlight and vitamin D during the third trimester of pregnancy, common in babies born in the winter, is correlated to an increased risk of gestational diabetes in the mother, which can increase the lifetime risk of their child having type 2 diabetes.
Why Informatics? So, we can better understand the relationship between prenatal environmental exposures and increased risk of disease development later in life.